College Lecturer in Psychology
University Research Lecturer, Department of Experimental Psychology
Ann Dowker is a University Research Lecturer at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. Her interests include many aspects of developmental psychology and the psychology of individual differences. She is particularly interested in language development; the development of ‘theory of mind’ and its relationship to other cognitive abilities; cultural and linguistic influences on cognition; and mathematical development and cognition. She has carried out extensive research on individual differences in arithmetic in both children and adults, and on the phenomenon of ‘mathematics anxiety’. She is currently starting work in collaboration with Roi Cohen Kadosh to edit a 'Handbook of Mathematical Cognition' for Oxford University Press.
Dr Dowker has a special interest in the application of research in psychology to education and especially to the development of intervention programs for children with mathematical difficulties. She is the lead researcher on the Catch Up Numeracy intervention project, with funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust and the Caxton Trust. This is an individualized intervention programme for primary school children who are low achievers in mathematics. The programme has been implemented in about 45 local authorities in the United Kingdom and is now being extended to Ireland.
Dr Dowker is very interested in cross-cultural and cross-linguistic research on children’s development. For example, she has worked with researchers from countries including France, Italy, Poland, Brazil, China and Iran on cross-cultural studies of children’s language play and spontaneous use of rhyme and metaphor. She is currently collaborating with a Pakistani colleague, Dr. Saadia Tayyaba, on a study of mathematical development in Pakistani children. She also collaborates with Finnish and American researchers on the study of mathematical learning disabilities.
Dr Dowker is a member of the Advisory Review Group for the 'Every Child Counts' project. She prepared reports for the Government in 2004 and 2009 on “What works for children with difficulties in mathematics?” She is also lead researcher on the Catch Up Numeracy project, with funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust and the Caxton Trust.