Who We Are

Our People

Ms Sylvia Hannan
Chief Researcher

Ms Sylvia Hannan is a Senior Researcher in the Inclusive Economic Development (IED) research division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). She joined the HSRC in 2013 as a Junior Researcher. Ms Hannan?s research focuses on science engagement, and the promotion of science awareness and positive attitudes towards science among the public, as well as institutional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capacity building, and the promotion of STEM for learners. Her research also focuses on basic education, predominantly on non-cognitive and contextual aspects, such as attitudes and school climate, particularly in relation to learner achievement in mathematics and science.

Ms Hannan holds an undergraduate degree in Geography and Environmental Management, and a Masters (Cum Laude) in Environmental Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). As a student, she worked on a number of projects for UKZN?s Centre for Environmental Management. Since joining the HSRC, Ms Hannan has worked on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), from data collection to data analysis, focusing predominantly on non-cognitive aspects such as learner attitudes to science, and contextual factors such as school climate, particularly in relation to bullying. She has also worked on a number of projects within the Youth into Science and Science Engagement Strategy suite of projects, related to capacity building within science centres, promoting science awareness and knowledge, positive attitudes towards science, and promoting STEM pathways among learners. She has been involved in modules for the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) on astronomy, and climate change and energy.

Her publications have focused on issues of school climate, and learner attitudes, such as bullying, learner attitudes to science, science achievement, and the relationship between early learning activities and later achievement. In addition, she has worked on two articles related to her Master?s dissertation, focusing on the dominant agendas of sustainability and urban regeneration, through the development of mega-projects, in Durban. More recently, she has co-authored several journal articles and book chapters related to education; and sustainability and social learning in river rehabilitation projects.

Ms Hannan is involved in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and is part of the team working on projects related to Science Engagement. She is also involved in work on public attitudes to climate change and energy. She is responsible for the management of the TIMSS SA website which houses a range of education, mathematics and science related resources. She is also responsible for the compilation and distribution of the TIMSS SA newsletter that highlights various education related topics. She has also authored and developed a number of blogs, opinion pieces and infographics.