Dr Sophina Choudry

Presidential Fellow (Academic)

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Doctoral Supervision: I am interested in new doctoral students given their research interests align closely to mine. You will find more information under the tab 'Research and Projects'.


Coming from an ethnic minority background, a female born to parents who worked in factories for most of their lives, I have always been interested in students from marginalised (ethnic, gender and social class) communities and their educational experiences. Though born in Bolton, I have been brought up in Germany and spent 4 years in Pakistan at the age of 15 before returning to England to resume my studies. My childhood experience of three very different education systems has underpinned my interest in teaching and learning. 

I have studied a BSc (hons) Mathematics degree at the Manchester Metropolitan University from 2006-2009, before studying for a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics, a MSc Educational Research and a PhD course from 2009 to 2016 at the University of Manchester.  In 2018 I was delighted to secure one of Manchester University's very prestigious presidential fellowships awarded to only the brightest early career researchers with the potential to deliver world-class research and become inspiring future leaders. As part of my fellowship I am researching the role establish innovative ways of addressing inequality in mathematics education by (i) respecting learners’ and their peer groups’ agency and their identifications with mathematics; and (ii) helping teachers see and value their learners’ peer group relationships.  The aim is to objectively map classroom peer group relationships within social networks that provide the learners’ with access to differential opportunities to learn mathematics, and to do so in ways which reveal to teachers the significance of learners’ ethnic, gender and social class backgrounds. I thereby address the role of social and (mathematics) cultural capital (e.g. dispositions) in reproducing social inequalities within classroom practices. My fellowship project builds on my PhD dissertation, which was awarded the very prestigious British Educational Research Association doctoral thesis awardin 2017. 

My other interest include:

I am also part of the Social Theories of Learning course and have run several reading groups including Bourdieu Reading Group and Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) Group. I am currently collaborating with international scholars in the area of CHAT hosted by the Universities of Berkeley and San Diego and funded by the Spencer Foundation as part of the agenda to re-generate CHAT to advance theory, methodology and practices in challenging times.

Recently, I have also joined the Greater Manchester Higher Committee in order to engage with local mathematics teachers and students in secondary schools for outreach projects. 

I am also the Early Career Researcher representative at the School of Environment, Education and Development (Manchester University) Research Committee, as well as the Manchester Institute of Education Forum Chair. 

My external appointments include non-contractual post with the Education Endowment Foundation as a Statistical Analysis Plan reviewer for the projects funded by them.

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2016 - Doctor of Education, Mathematics Capital in the Classroom and Wider Educational Field: Intersections of Ethnicity, Gender and Social Class, The University of Manchester
  • 2014 - PGCE Secondary Mathematics, The University of Manchester
  • 2010 - Master of Science, Educational Research, The University of Manchester
  • 2009 - Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)

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