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Research Rising Star – Sophie Batchelor
- Understanding and improving children’s early numerical skills
Research Fellow Dr Sophie Batchelor joined the University in 2011 to pursue her PhD, having completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Liverpool and her Master’s at The University of Nottingham.
Having trained in psychology, her research has increasingly focused on cognition with an emphasis on the development of young children’s numerical skills.
Since her undergraduate years, Sophie’s work has attracted considerable interest and funding. She is published in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review with further manuscripts under review with other respected journals. Findings from her doctoral research on mathematics anxiety are due to feature in a forthcoming book Understanding Emotions in Mathematical Thinking and Learning (Elsevier Academic Press, 2016).
Sophie is a regular speaker at conferences and other academic gatherings around the UK and in Europe. Her thesis – Dispositional Factors Affecting Children’s Early Numerical Development – looked at a recently developed construct, ‘Spontaneous Focusing on Numerosity’ (SFON), and in 2014 she was invited to talk at the first international symposium on SFON at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She is now collaborating on a cross-cultural SFON project with researchers in Belgium, Finland and Northern Ireland.
As well as contributing to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the University, Sophie works closely with schools and publishes her work in the MEC’s Research Update Newsletter which is distributed termly to schools throughout the UK. She is also an active participant in The University of Nottingham’s Summer Scientist Week that brings together young people, their parents and researchers to explore how the mind works.
She is a member of the British Psychological Society, the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction, and the East Midlands Mathematical Cognition Group.
In 2014, she was awarded a prestigious ESRC Future Research Leaders grant – funding which is only awarded to the most outstanding early career researchers worldwide. The three-year award will allow Sophie to continue her study of children’s early numerical development.