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Valsa Koshy
Professor of Education


I was born in Kerala, South India, where I attended school and took my first degree (Chemistry and Physics) and a Masters degree. I continued to study after arriving in the UK (see later sections). I came to England in 1969 and taught in primary schools for 11 years before being appointed to the advisory team for Mathematics in the Inner London Education Authority, supporting teachers to enhance the quality of mathematics teaching of children aged 4-11. I started my academic career in 1988 at the West London Institute of Higher Education (WHILE) as a tutor in Mathematics Education for Teacher Training courses and later, taking responsibility for the 20-day and 10-day mathematics in-service courses for teachers in 13 Local Authorities in London. I have been at Brunel University since 1996.

There are three interrelated strands to my work:

  • Mathematics education. I have been continually involved in supporting teachers with their Professional Development through training programmes and facilitating teachers to carry out Action Research in aspects of mathematics education taking into account the voice of learners through the use of mathematics journals and continuous communication – pedagogy, assessment and subject knowledge, in particular.
  • I am the co-founder and director of the Brunel Able Children’s Education (BACE) Centre which supports Talent Development. The centre’s work is based on a broadened conception of talents and gifts rather than on labelling children , it focuses on the uniqueness of a child’s special strengths and interests. The centre team aims to empower teachers with strategies for effective curriculum provision, so that they can provide enriching and enjoyable learning experiences of all pupils. A significant part of my research focuses on the recognition of and the fulfilment of talent of special groups of pupils, such as students with high potential in inner-city areas and very young children.
  • Designing effective models for curriculum adaptations and educational interventions using Action Research and Design Research methodologies to make research more accessible to practitioners.

I teach on initial training courses as well as Masters and Doctoral programmes. I supervise a number of doctoral students from the UK and overseas.

Career History

Education in the UK

1997 PhD University of Exeter, Faculty of Education. Implementing the National Curriculum in Mathematics: an investigation of teachers’ perceptions of changes.

1988 M.Phil. Kings College, University of London. Children’s strategies and errors in working with number.

1981 Advanced Diploma in Teaching Mathematics to Pre-school and Primary School Children.

Selected research projects (as Principal investigator )

(Total Research and development grants 2003-2011 = £1.5 million).

  • Enhancing Mathematics Teaching and Learning – 6 Action research projects with Local Authorities in England
  • Nurturing mathematical promise - involving 13 Local Authorities across England , funded by the DfES
  • Development of Giftedness and Talent at Key Stage 1, funded by the DfES
  • An Urban Scholars 4 year intervention programme involving 9 London LAs, funded by the Moody’s Foundation in New York, SHINE TRUST, BfSS and LAs
  • Development and evaluation of professional development programmes for teachers, funded by LAs
  • An Urban Mathematical Scholars intervention programme for KS3 students, funded by ARK Academies Trust
  • Using Design Research to construct a model for The Urban Scholars Programme, funded by the Centre for British Teachers Trust (CfBT)

Conferences and Keynote addresses

I have given 31 Keynote addresses during the past 5 years and regularly contribute to both research and professional conferences both in the UK and overseas.

Newest selected publications

Koshy, V. (2017) 'Teaching Number with Understanding'. Middlesex. ISSN 13: 9781533534101


Koshy, V. and Koshy, E. (2017) 'Find and Nurture Your Child’s Gifts, Boost your Child’s Learning Potential and Wellbeing 4 -11 years'. Middlesex. ISSN 13: 9781900905152


Allen, G., Rhind, D. and Koshy, V. (2015) 'Enablers and barriers for male students transferring life skills from the sports hall into the classroom'. Qualitiative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 7 (1). pp. 53 - 67. ISSN: 2159-676X Open Access Link

Journal article

Koshy, V., Portman Smith, C. and Brown, J. (2014) 'Parenting ‘gifted and talented’ children in urban areas: Parents' voices'. Gifted Education International, Online first (1). pp. 3 - 17. ISSN: 0261-4294 Open Access Link

Journal article

Brady, M. and Koshy, V. (2014) 'Reflections on the implementation of the Gifted and Talented policy in England, 1999–2011'. Gifted Education International, 30 (3). pp. 254 - 262. ISSN: 0261-4294 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(32)