Seven Questions with... Rosie Casterton

Rosie CastertonRosie Casterton

This week we meet UCL student Rosie, who hails from London. Here, Rosie - who has taught at schools in London and Madrid - chats to us about her Master’s programme and her favorite foodie spots in the city, including some amazing Farmers’ Markets!

What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?

I am studying an MSc in Psychology of Education. I became highly engaged in cognitive development and educational psychology while studying my undergraduate degree at university. I am passionate about understanding individual differences within children and how these impact their learning, motivation and educational achievement. Furthermore, investigating the implications that these factors, alongside societal contributions, have on teaching and learning within curriculum, training programs and policy. Working in different settings has given me a diverse representation of our education system. I feel I have gathered a breadth of experience and understanding of various learning environments, and additional educational needs. The natural next step for my professional development was postgraduate study.

Studying a Master’s in this subject has always been a long-term goal, however being able to do so at UCL, with the pioneering researchers and professors that we have here, is incredibly exciting! The programme I am undertaking aims to give me a more holistic understanding of the subject area.

Currently, I am enjoying learning about present issues, theories and phenomenon within the literature, and implications for the classroom and policy. I am hoping to learn more about how best to build rigorous, compassionate systems whereby professionals feel confident to inspire, support and educate all children. With these goals in mind, in the future I would like to work within educational research. I hope to gain more of a grasp of the complexities involved in creating education systems whilst gaining an insight into strategies that have been successful in creating inclusive teachers, classrooms and policies.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?

There are so many interesting and exciting extra things going on at UCL - there is a regular journal club for anyone interested in reading about topics related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. This month we are reading a paper (nominated by a fellow student) called Is Feminism about "Women" : A critical view on Intersectionality from India.

Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?

I am still exploring and discovering. Wandering the historic streets in Bloomsbury for coffee breaks in between lectures is very enjoyable - I particularly love Woburn Walk; a charming pedestrianised street tucked away in a pocket of Euston which takes you back in time to Georgian London.

Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London: 

  • An absolute must: a live show! I would personally recommend a West End musical, however there are so many different amazing theatre productions, live comedy and music gigs going on all over London. I recently went to see Joanne McNally (an Irish comedian) at the London Palladium. Bob Marley: Get up Stand Up! is also amazing and Wicked is an absolute favourite of mine!
  • Food markets! Ambling the streets of London, perusing antiques, and eating as you go is unrivalled. The classics of course include Borough Market, Portobello, Victoria Park Sunday Market and Brixton Market. I also love Tooting Market and Herne Hill Sunday Food Market in South London.
  • Parks! For a city, London is bursting with so many great, green spaces. My favourite would have to be Richmond Park. It has such stunning views of the city and is a great place to remove yourself from the hustle and bustle to walk, cycle, picnic and deer-spot. There are also some great pubs nearby for when you get tired and thirsty - The Marlborough and Roebuck are great.
  • What’s one thing you’d like to see in a post-COVID world?

    In a post-COVID world, I would like to see a return to community values!

    During COVID, we were forced to slow down, realign our values and priorities and interact as communities again working on behalf of the good of community collectively.

    Going forward, taking these community values into our everyday decision making will help us to create a more inclusive society that works to benefit all its members. Too often we are incentivised to work for our own economic self-interest, however often this means we overlook the impact of these decisions on society and the environment. We can correct this by realigning our collective principles and taking learnings from the COVID experience.

    Who inspires you and why?

    I am inspired by many strong females in my life including my mother, who raised four children whilst running her own business, and my grandmother, who taught and worked with children and women in need. They radiate resilience, strength and positivity whilst always striving to do more and put others first!

    What would it surprise people to know about you?

    I have a weird fascination with crime documentaries and criminal behaviour. I have watched more documentaries on serial killers, missing cases and scam artists than you can shake a stick at. I have even been to talks on the minds of psychopaths, as well as Jack the Ripper walking tours. Bizarre, perhaps, but fascinating.

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