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Dr Sinem Hizli Alkan

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
Areas of Expertise:
Education and teaching
Research Supervision:

Sinem’s key areas of expertise are primary mathematics education and curriculum making. She has studied and worked in Turkey, Denmark, Finland and Scotland.

[email protected]

Twitter: @SinemHizli


Sinem graduated as a primary mathematics teacher in 2012 and worked in a primary school in Finland before her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Upon completion of her study, she started her doctoral research in curriculum studies at the University of Stirling where she also taught in the Initial Teacher Education programme for more than five years. She worked as a lecturer at Stirling between 2020-2023 and joined ARU in January 2023.

Sinem’s research is primarily informed by critical realism and concerns how teacher’s reflexivity and networks play a role in curriculum making practices. She is also passionate about exploring how teaching mathematics can promote social justice.

Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Turkish
Research interests
  • Curriculum making
  • Teachers’ reflexivity
  • Teachers’ networks
  • Teaching mathematics for social justice
Areas of research supervision
Sinem welcomes expressions of interest from potential Master’s and PhD students with an interest in the broad field of education, curriculum and teaching mathematics.
  • MA Education
  • BA Primary Education
  • BA in Primary Mathematics Teaching (Turkey 2012)
  • MS in Curriculum and Instruction (Turkey 2016)
  • PhD in Education (Curriculum Studies) (University of Stirling 2021)
Selected recent publications

Hizli Alkan, S. (2022). Traversing between Supra, Macro, and Meso Sites, Scottish Educational Review (published online ahead of print 2022). https://doi.org/10.1163/27730840-54010007

Hizli Alkan, S. (2022). Are we making a quilt, with lots of ill-fitting cloths in here?”: Teachers’ internal conversations on curriculum making. J Educ Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-022-09452-8

Xenofontos C & Hizli Alkan S (2022) "They're coming into school hungry, they're not ready to learn". Scottish teachers' perceptions of marginalization in school mathematics. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 18 (6), Art. No.: em2116. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejmste/12071

Xenofontos, C., Hizli Alkan, S. & Andrews, P. (2022). Estimation in the Primary Mathematics Curricula of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey: A Privileged or Prevented Competence? Athens Journal of Education, 9, 1-22. https://www.athensjournals.gr/education/2021-4333-AJE-Xenofontos-05.pdf

Xenofontos C & Hizli Alkan S (2022) Prospective Primary Teachers' Professional Noticing in Non-Formal Learning Environments: The Case of a Mathematics Fair. Education Sciences, 12 (1), Art. No.: 55. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010055

Hizli Alkan, S. (2021). Curriculum making as relational practice: a qualitative ego-network approach. The Curriculum Journal, 32 (3), pp. 421-443. https://doi.org/10.1002/curj.98

Priestley, M., Crick, T. & Hizli Alkan, S. (2019). The co-construction of a national curriculum: the role of teachers as curriculum policy makers in Wales. Paper presented at the ECER conference, 5 September 2019, 3-6 September 2019, Hamburg, Germany.

Hizli Alkan, S. and Priestley, M. (2019). Teacher mediation of curriculum making: the role of reflexivity. Journal of Curriculum Studies, p.18. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2019.1637943

Hizli Alkan, S. and Priestley, M. (2019). Teacher mediation of curriculum making: The role of reflexivity. BERA Blog, https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/teacher-mediation-of-curriculum-making-the-role-of-reflexivity

Priestley, M, Hizli Alkan, S & Nieveen, N (2018). A Curriculum for Wales: Review of the Draft Progression Steps. Welsh Government. Cardiff.

Recent presentations and conferences

‘A Qualitative Ego-Network Approach to Explore Curriculum Making by Secondary School Teachers’ paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (online), September 2021.

‘An analysis of ego-networks to explore curriculum making by teachers in Wales’ paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Conference in Manchester, September 2019.

‘A case study using the egocentric network approach to explore curriculum making by teachers’ paper presented at the 4th European Conference on Curriculum Studies, Maynooth/Ireland, June 2019.

‘Internal and external conversations to explore curriculum making by teachers’ paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research in Hamburg/Germany, September 2019.

‘Ego-network approach to explore curriculum making by teachers’ poster presented at the Doctoral Conference in Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, May 2019.

‘Exploring teacher mediation in curriculum making: Scotland and Wales’ paper presented at the European Conference for Educational Research in Bolzano/Italy, September 2018.