Learning Sciences (English Without Thesis)

Academic Staff

Academic Staff

Prof.Dr. Mustafa Özcan
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Özcan is the Dean of the Faculty of Education at MEF University. He began his career as an elementary school teacher and moved to America to study Ph.D. in 1988. Dr. Özcan worked as a teacher educator in the USA for 22 years and developed a model for teacher education called University within School. His two books on teacher education are: Teachers in the Information Age (2011) and University within School (2013). Dr. Özcan worked as a consultant for various universities and presented his University within School model in Cyprus, Finland, Italy, Ireland and the United States.


Prof.Dr. Can Fuad Delale
Prof. Can Fuat Delale is currently the Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at MEF University. He received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1977 from Istanbul Technical University, his M.Sc. degree in Physics in 1979 from Lehigh University (USA) and his Ph.D. degree in Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics in 1983 from Brown University (USA). He has been a faculty member in various universities in Turkey including Boğaziçi, Bilkent, İstanbul, Işık and Istanbul Technical Universities and a Research Scientist at Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Foundation (TÜBİTAK) and at various universities and research institutes abroad including Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Max Planck Institute für Strömunsforschung, University of Cambridge, Eindhoven University of Technology and California Institute of Technology. He is a member of a number of scientific societies including European Mechanics Society and The Science Academy, holder of a number of prizes including TÜBİTAK Junior Scientist Prize and Sedat Simavi Science Prize, and holder of a number of fellowships and awards including Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and Burgers’ Center Research Professor Award.  He was the Co-Chairman (with D.G.Crighton)  of EUROMECH Colloquium 376 on Waves in Two-Phase Flows, Istanbul in 1998 and Co-Chairman (with A.Acrivos) of IUTAM Symposium on Recent Advances in Multiphase Flows: Numerical and Experimental, Istanbul in 2007. His research interests include kinetic theory of gases, gas/liquid transitions, gas dynamics with homogeneous condensation, cavitation and bubble dynamics. He is the author of many scientific publications and Editor of the book Bubble Dynamics and Shock Waves.


Prof.Dr. Dante J. Dorantes-González
Dr. Dante Dorantes-González has held administrative positions as chair of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, and head of the Innovation Center at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico. In 2008 he joined the School of Precision Instruments and Optoelectronics Engineering at Tianjin University, China. In July 2014, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MEF University. He has led several international research projects, is the author of several textbooks, patents, and more than 60 refereed papers. He has been the chairman of several international conferences and is a member of the editorial board in several scientific journals.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zelha Tunç Pekkan
Zelha was born to a family of teachers. She graduated from Middle East Technical University in 2000, received M.S. degree from Indiana University in 2002 and Ph.D. degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia in 2008. For her post-doctoral studies, she worked in an interdisciplinary project for teaching fractions with computational tools in the most prestigious computer schools in the world, Carnegie Mellon University. After offering undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Pittsburgh, she taught one full year high school mathematics in İstanbul. Later, she worked as a faculty member at Yeditepe University and directed research projects on school-university partnerships. In 2013 she conducted research and taught graduate courses at the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2014, she has been working as the Chair of the Department and teaching middle school mathematics at a public school. She is leading the pioneering research team in Turkey, namely MEF Mathematics Teacher Education Team that develops teacher training models through a partnership between Education Faculties and K-12 Schools. She also holds the position of Associate Dean for the Faculty of Education at MEF University. Research Interests: Constructivism, children's mathematical thinking, fractional knowledge, pre- and in-service teacher education, action research, university-school partnerships, flipped classroom methods. She received the Science Academy's Young Scientist Awards Program (BAGEP 2018) in educational sciences field.


Assist. Prof. Dr. Tuna Çakar
Tuna Çakar graduated from Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Program of Sabancı University in 2004. He has worked on the 3-D modeling of proteins with perturbation technique in his undergraduate thesis project. He received his master's degree from Cognitive Science Program at Boğaziçi University in 2009. In his master thesis, he worked on the skin conductance and pulse rate methods in order to understand the emotional processes of humans. Tuna Çakar obtained his Ph.D. from Cognitive Science Program at the Informatics Institute in Middle East Technical University in 2015. In his thesis, he has worked on the identity judgments and he performed several different models including mathematical, neurophysiological (EEG/ERP, optic brain imaging) and biometrics (Eye-tracker) in order to understand the decision-making processes at various levels. Dr. Çakar is currently working on the applied neuroscience field with sector-specific and academic projects. In February 2017, he joined MEF University.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Utkun Aydın
Utkun completed her elementary, middle, and secondary school education in TED Zonguldak College (1986-1997). In 2002, she received a B.S. degree in the Department of Mathematics at Ankara University. In 2003, she started working as a research assistant at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University and received an M.S. with a non-thesis degree in Secondary Science and Mathematics Education. Utkun then moved to Middle East Technical University (METU) as a research assistant in Secondary Science and Mathematics Education in 2004. She received her M.S. with thesis degree in 2007 and following that completed her Ph. D. in 2012. During these years, she also worked as an instructional designer in various education companies in METU Technopark. She also participated in Scientific Research Projects (BAP) funded by METU and University of Georgia. Her research interests lie in the area of geometric knowledge, mathematical thinking, and metacognition ranging from theory to implementation, with a particular focus on using structural equation modeling and multilevel modeling techniques. In conjunction with her expertise in these techniques, Utkun has also focused on developing achievement tests. She involved in several research projects funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). She is currently the statistical analysis advisor of European Cooperation in Science and Technology-COST Project, MEF University and European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) and Research Fund Project, Boğaziçi University. Utkun have received International Scientific Publication Encouragement Awards from TÜBİTAK (4 times) and METU (once). She has been serving as the section editor in International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology since 2014. Utkun Aydın has been a member of the MEF University since March 2014.

Assist. Prof. Dr. R. Didem Taylan
Dr. Rukiye Didem Taylan received a Fulbright scholarship to complete her M.S. degree in mathematics education from Teachers’ College, Columbia University. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, in 2013. During 2014-2015, she taught 5th-grade mathematics at a public school in İstanbul and she developed lesson plans by collaborating with mathematics teachers at a private school. She conducts research in the field of teacher learning and noticing as well as classroom practices. She serves as a co-leader at the "Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education" for the working group: "Mathematics Teacher and Classroom Practices", as of 2016.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Aylin Tekiner Tolu
Aylin Tekiner Tolu, Ph.D. is an assistant professor and the department head in the Department of English Language Teaching at MEF University, Turkey. She received her B.A. degree in Foreign Language Teaching and M.S. degree in Cognitive Science at Middle East Technical University. She holds her Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida. She taught several online courses when she was in the U.S. and researched synchronous communication in online teaching. She has taught several courses at both graduate and undergraduate level mainly focusing on technology, ELT methods, materials development and second language acquisition.
Fifteen years after teaching at an elementary school, within the framework of University within School model, she is teaching English at a 6th grade in a public school this year. As a faculty member at Bahcesehir University, she worked very closely with colleges and gave several teacher training workshops in different cities of Turkey, interned pre-service teachers, mentored in-service teachers and conducted research on university-school partnership and the use of technology with young learners.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Şükrü Nural
Born and bred in Istanbul, Dr. Sukru Nural majored in English Language and Literature at the University of Istanbul and obtained an ELT certificate from the same university in 2005. He earned an MA TESOL from the University of Leeds and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics & TESOL from the University of Leicester. His doctoral thesis is entitled “EAP (English for Academic Purposes) Teachers’ Cognitions and Practices in Teaching Lexis in Turkish Private Universities”. As a post-doctoral fellow, he liaised with eminent applied linguist Professor Ernesto Macaro, of the Centre for Research and Development in English Medium Instruction, the University of Oxford. As Director of Lexisperience Education, Dr. Nural has been providing educational consultancy and academic skills support for international students. To date, he worked at various educational institutions for a decade: Marmara University Nihad Sayar Education Foundation, Dialogue Language Schools, Kocaeli University, Sabancı University, De Montfort University, Istanbul Medipol University and Galatasaray University.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Melike Acar
Assistant Professor Dr. Melike Acar was graduated from Boğaziçi University Guidance and Psychological Counseling Department and went to the United States for postgraduate studies. She completed her master's degree at San Francisco State University in the field of Developmental Psychology and conducted research on the effects of cultural context on self-perception. She completed his Ph.D. in Human Development and Education at the University of California at Berkeley. She taught at Boğaziçi University Faculty of Education as a part-time lecturer between 2012-2017 and worked as a researcher at Boğaziçi University Education Policy Research and Application Center. She is a full-time faculty member of Guidance and Psychological Counseling department at MEF University since September 2017. Her research interests are the development of moral and social inquiry, the questioning of gender and cultural norms, and the inclusive and education practices. Dr. Melike Acar is also a member of Jean Piaget Community. 


Res. Asst. Bengi Birgili 
Bengi Birgili is is a research assistant on the Mathematics Education Department at MEF University, Istanbul. She graduated with Bachelor of Science Degree in Primary Education (Program in Mathematics Education) from Bogazici University, Istanbul in 2011. After this, for her master’s thesis at METU, she researched differentiation of open-ended and multiple choice question types with regard to metacognitive and affective dimensions. Bengi is currently a PhD candidate on the Department of Educational Sciences Curriculum and Instruction Program at Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara. She is also a participant on the team of academicians at MEF University who are developing the University within School Partnership Project with Ayazaga Middle School in Istanbul. In her role on this team, Bengi has been teaching mathematics to 5th and 6th grade students since 2014. In December 2016, she completed the Flipped Learning Level-I Certification Program offered by the Flipped Learning Global Initiative. 

Research Interests: Instructional design, curriculum development and evaluation, qualitative research methods, phenomenology, the differential effect of open-ended and multiple-choice questions, cooperative teaching method, new approaches in mathematics education.

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