Having been a secondary school mathematics teacher for over 20 years and then working in the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University from 2003 to 2015 working on teacher education programmes, Cheryl’s research in history is purely for fun. A desire to try palaeography led to Cheryl undertaking a Masters degree in medieval and early modern history at the University of Kent. Having enjoyed that so much Cheryl decided to embark upon a PhD too, this time through Canterbury Christ Church University, with Jackie Eales as supervisor. In 2013 Cheryl took a sabbatical in South Bend, Indiana, USA and subsequently moved there, where she works full time teaching mathematics and mathematics education at Saint Mary’s College and uses the library of the University of Notre Dame as she continues with her studies in her spare time. She continues to mark postgraduate education assignments for Canterbury Christ Church via Turnitin.
Research and Knowledge Exchange
The research I am currently undertaking focuses on the development of numeracy in early modern Kent, thereby linking my three areas of interest – mathematics, education and early modern history. As part of this research I have attempted to establish the range of elementary education available in Kent during the period 1480 – 1701 and, where possible, the curricula offered in these schools. I have also looked at some of the first mathematics texts written in English, comparing these with similar texts being used in both Italy and Germany and considering the ways in which ‘ordinary’ people calculated. As it is difficult to both define and quantify ‘numeracy’ within a populace I am using statistical techniques used by anthropologists with emerging societies to analyse data from Canterbury Consistory Court.
Publications and Conference presentations
- The medieval counting table revisited’ in BSHM Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for History of Mathematics, Vol.30 2015, Issue 1 and web published November 2014
- Mid West Conference on British Studies (September 2016) – presented a paper on the charity school founded by Sir William Boreman in Greenwich during the early 17th century.
- Scientiae 2016, Oxford University (July 2016) – ran a workshop on the use of the counting table to undertake calculations in the late medieval and early modern periods.
- Mid West Conference on British Studies, Detroit, (September 2015) – presented a paper on the differences between the theory and reality of elementary education in early modern Kent.
- History of Science Society Conference, Chicago (November 2014) – poster presentation on the counting table.
- North American Conference on British Studies, Minneapolis (November 2014) – poster presentation on the identification of elementary education in early modern Kent in the period up to 1700.