IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Dan O'Brien

Dan studied MA Mathematics Education at IOE and he shares with us his insights of his studies and time at UCL.

Dan O'Brien, IOE Masters Alumni. Dan O'Brien/IOE.
Dan, tell us what was the best thing about your course?

I really valued the structured variety of activities, people, formats and subject matter – which makes it easier to truly tailor the degree to my own personal needs and interests or find out what I am most interested in.

What do you find interesting about your field of study and what inspires you?

The mathematics itself has always been my core interest, but its inextricable link with how one learns – and organises their thinking – has become a focus of my intellectual curiosity.  This has more than touched on philosophy (especially epistemology), learning theories and educational psychology, while the subject’s symbiotic relationship with forefront technology is really exciting.

What are your career plans now you’ve completed your current programme of study at UCL?

Publishing and presenting my research and applying for a PhD in Mathematics Education – where I will do the latter will most likely depend on funding and the level to which it can be done online.

Do you think studying at IOE is a good investment?

Yes, you get the world’s most prolific educational experts teaching you and access to the most current research and discourse – all at the touch of a button, should you wish – whilst the modules on offer are both extensive and deep enough in scope to most likely set you up well for your next milestone.

Has there been an element of your degree programme that has impressed you or been particularly valuable?

The planning of the course modules by the MA Mathematics Education team was clearly carefully thought out and structured, while the teaching was at times extremely thought-provoking and inspirational – coming from highly established names in the literature, yet people who are approachable and exemplary pedagogues.

Is there anything else you would like to say about your time at IOE?

The programme leader, Dr Cosette Crisan, made everything so much easier for me; I joined the course two months late and there was a great deal of bureaucratic administration which she navigated me through seamlessly, while providing great reassurance that I would catch up without issue – which I did.  As a personal tutor, she worked tirelessly to provide academic guidance but also character and warmth – the human touch – which certainly helped surmount the limitations of online learning. 

Last updated 5 September 2022.