The project ultimately wants to show parents that teaching their child can be entertaining and engaging by modeling how fun, hands-on math activities can easily be incorporated into everyday routines at home.
As a doctoral student at UCI, Khan was advised by Distinguished Professor of Education Jacquelynne Eccles. “The opportunity to work with someone as brilliant as Dr. Eccles was the main driving force for me to get my Ph.D. at UCI,” Khan said. “She taught me how to be a better and stronger writer, how to measure the nebulous concept of motivation, and how to think critically about the impacts of my research.”
In her second year, Khan was selected as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow to conduct research that explored academic motivation beliefs among adolescents and undergraduates. As an example of the fascinating terrain of nurture versus nature in the educational field, she designed and implemented a longitudinal study with UCI undergraduates assessing change in students’ growth mindsets and their academic motivation. She utilized this data for her dissertation, which contributed to research on the popular notion that a growth mindset (believing that your intelligence has the potential to grow over time with increased efforts and strategies), is the most beneficial for students’ learning and engagement.
During the final year of her doctoral program, Khan completed an internship as a research analyst at EvalCorp, an applied research and consulting firm. She analyzed programmatic outcome data and designed reports for nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Khan’s work informed future directions for youth education programs and helped secure additional years of funding.
Khan attributes her ability to be a conscientious educational researcher to the rich learning opportunities she was exposed to at the UCI School of Education.
“When I first visited UCI, I was drawn to the sense of camaraderie that existed between faculty members and students and the opportunity for cross-collaboration between the multiple disciplines within education and psychology.”