I am a man of two worlds having been born and raised in Ghana, and currently living in the UK. I am passionate about education, aspiration and social mobility as I was born into a poor working class family but have been bailed out of that background through the ticket of education. After acquiring an undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Ghana, I spent the first part of my working life as a retail executive with Shell Ghana limited. My passion and flair for teaching and training drew me into training of fuel station dealers and their customer service staff. My stint in the corporate world culminated in me studying for an MBA with the University of Leicester. I eventually yielded to my passion for teaching so I trained to be a teacher in the UK and have been a primary school teacher for over a decade. I was drawn into studying for a PhD by my desire to help every child achieve their full potential. I want to answer one of the questions that could explain why some children achieve better than others even though they may all be similarly ‘intelligent’.
My research to find out whether (and how) culture influences how children develop self-regulated learning (SRL) skills in the context of maths problem solving. It is aimed at generating a more coherent model of the key components of SRL and the factors or conditions that enable children to create and develop skills in relation to SRL. Specifically, I wish to examine whether cultural differences impact on the organisation of SRL skills in a consistent and predictable fashion. This will in turn shed light on the potential malleability of the processes feeding into SRL skills, especially with regard to the motivational dimension, and thus how they might be actively promoted.
The difference my research makes
The UK in particular, and the world in general, has now become a truly multi-cultural, ethnically diverse society and there is growing evidence of cultural variation in how children develop and deploy SRL skills. One major dimension that is therefore very important for educators to understand is the role of culture in the acquisition of SRL skills. I hope my research will provide teachers and educators with valuable insight into how children from different cultural backgrounds develop SRL skills and lead to new approaches and programs that support their development. It will also inform classroom practice by fostering a personalised approach in supporting learners from different cultural backgrounds, leading to raised attainment and academic performance.
Professor Andy Tolmie: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/study/PHDT_80.html