Exeter-Mexico Educational Research Link

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Annual bursaries to the most promising postgraduate students of Education in Mexico to travel to the UK for short periods in order to strengthen and develop existing research links between Exeter and Mexico. 

Below: Professor Rupert Wegerif, University of Exeter and Professor Sylvia Rojas-Drummond, UNAM (Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico) with the first group of Santander-sponsored students.

(Back: left to right - Professor Rupert Wegerif, Rosa Maria Rios Silva, Guadalupe Vega Diaz, Professor Sylvia Rojas-Drummond. Front row seated, left to right: Omar Torreblanca, Hadee Pedraza Medina)

Mexican Students (UNAM)

Each of the students were asked to write a brief report on their experiences in the UK and future plans on returning to Mexico:

Rosa Maria Rios Silva

Rosa María Ríos Silva

The research topic developed in my thesis work is about the peer interaction, particularly, on the analysis of performance on joint resolution of logical problems by the primary school learners, taking into account the types of interaction and talk.

I have developed research on teaching and learning of mathematics at the basic level and have developed training manuals to support teachers in preschool and primary levels on this topic, as well as textbooks for children.

I am also currently a professor in the Mathematics Education Department at the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV-IPN) where I work coordinating a research project on the teaching of mathematics at the preschool level (children aged 3-5 years).

My visit to the University of Exeter has allowed me to find work related to the topics of my interest and, mainly, has helped me to get elements to deepen the understanding of a methodology for analyzing dialogic interaction in the classrooms.

The opportunity to work directly with Rupert Wegerif, Carol Murphy, Ros Fisher and Manoli Pifarre has been very helpful to guide my future work. I’m interested in Mexico to develop a research about the teaching of basic arithmetic operations (addition and subtraction) and the use of exploratory as a means for the acquisition of this learning in preschool children (age 5).

I enjoyed the stay in the University and in the city. The city is very beautiful. People are very friendly and helpful. I very much appreciate all the attention and support that the university staff gave us.

Guadalupe Vega DiazGuadalupe Vega Díaz

I am a Ph. D. student at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), in Educational Psychology. At the same time I work for El Colegio de Mexico, a specialized research institution focused on Social Sciences in Mexico.

For quite a long time, I have been investigating the appropriation of information literacy (INFOLIT) by students at primary school. I came to the University of Exeter wanting to find more research in this field because I was very interested in developing a methodology for analysing dialogic interactions in the classrooms, particularly those aimed to assessing productive and collaborative work amongst students.

Thus, it was for me very important to have a chance to meet some of the researchers that I knew about previously only through their papers. My interaction with these researchers has improved my theoretical understanding of frameworks, structures and methodologies, as well as enabling me to have a better understanding of their results, in the field I am interested in. Besides, I have had the opportunity to work directly with Manoli Pifarri and Rupert Wegerif on an INFOLIT project into the "Learning Together" project within UNAM.

For the future, I expect to continue collaboration with the colleagues I met in Exeter and consolidate it in order to deliver some joint academic research articles.

Haydee Pedraza MedinaHaydée Pedraza Medina

I’m a doctoral student in Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). My specialty is in educational psychology and development.

’m interested in the study of the interaction and dialogue when using interactive whiteboards in science classes. Particularly, I want to know how the Mexican teachers in primary education using the interactive whiteboard and how is the dialogue and interaction that is promoted in the classroom. I would like to continue to research intervention programmes promoting educational dialogue in science and in language classes in elementary schools in the City of Mexico

The best thing for me in my visit to the University of Exeter was the opportunity to meet researchers working here in different areas of knowledge such as literacy and numeracy. I've learned about different methods for the analysis of dialogue and interaction in the classroom used by members of the Educational Dialogue Research Group.

Omar Torreblanca

Omar Torreblanca

My visit to the Graduate School of Education was very enriching in many ways. First in the academic field, since it gave me a major boost to help finish my doctoral thesis successfully.

I am doing my PhD in the area of Educational Psychology. My line of research is the teaching and learning of complex skills in psychology with the support of technological mediation, all under the frame of sociocultural theory.

It was very helpful for me to make direct contact with Dr. Rupert Wegerif in Exeter, since he has worked the link between dialogic education and technology. His comments will allow me to make some clarifications for my thesis.

It was also very interesting to listen to other researchers at the University of Exeter, such as Ros Fisher, Carol Murphy and Cathie Holden, who although not working in my line of research made me reflect on various aspects of my research work.

During my visit I attended some of the conferences held on the St Luke’s campus, which were given by guest lecturers such as David Scott (London Institute of Education) and Antonio Marmolejo (University of Malaga).

Furthermore, I was lucky because during my visit the Annual Staff Student Research Conference 2010 took place, which allowed me to have an overview of projects being carried out in Education at St Luke’s.

Therefore, my visit to the Graduate School of Education was very encouraging in terms of academic achievement for my research project.

But I must also add that, as part of a group of Mexicans who visited Exeter, we will start with Professor. Wegerif what will be a network of collaboration in the field of dialogical education, which will have a Web site to foster communication among network members.

I must also say, in a more personal way, I enjoyed a lot of my walks through a city as nice as Exeter. Every day I went for a jog along the River Exe. Exeter Cathedral impressed me with its beauty and antiquity.