Seminars and events

Tuesday 14th December 2021, 12-1pm.

Universal Design for Learning in Chemistry for High School Students
Prof Peggy King-Sears, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University.


What is your talk about? Universal Design for Learning (UDL) was used for teaching chemistry to high school students with and without disabilities. UDL’s focus is on flexible ways instruction is responsive to students’ learning needs. In a series of studies, UDL students’ performance on quizzes were compared to students who received traditional lecture-based instruction. Results favoured students who received UDL instruction.

What are the key messages of your talk? UDL is about the multiple ways students receive and practice content. High school students perform better than their peers when teachers use UDL to plan and deliver instruction.

What are the implications for practice or research from your talk?  UDL should be used more by teachers. Further research is needed, with students’ disaggregated data, to more firmly establish UDL’s efficacy.

Tuesday 16th November – 12-1pm

The potential role of lesson study in curriculum design and implementation

Dr Geoffrey Wake, Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Nottingham.

What is your talk about? In this talk, I draw on experiences of collaborative research with colleagues in Japan to provide theoretical insights into how we might conceptualise and inform future developments of lesson study as action research that informs curriculum design and implementation. The approach taken develops ideas of the theory of didactical situations, and draws on the construct of boundary objects to understand Japanese lesson study.

What are the key messages of your talk? I identify a class of artefacts, didactical devices, that may provide a useful form of boundary object that supports the collaborative action research of lesson study. These important devices also support teachers in their role of mediating important aspects of mathematics as a subject as well as ensuring that students experience curriculum coherence both within mathematics itself and over their long-term learning journey. Although the particular focus of the work presented here is mathematics, the lessons drawn should have applicability more widely.

What are the implications for practice or research from your talk? My findings suggest that we should consider adopting a commonly agreed approach to our teaching of the curriculum within subjects and potentially more widely across the curriculum. This would necessitate teachers agreeing underlying core principles and carefully designing boundary objects that might permeate their curriculum, minimally at a local level but potentially at a national level.

Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 12-1pm

Learning science in the family – findings from longitudinal video-based research

Dr Neta Shaby, Southampton Education School, University of Southampton.

Family engagement with science facilitates disciplinary talk, supports scientific thinking, and scaffolds understanding of science, thus playing a critical role in children’s development of science knowledge, skills, interest, and identity. Family-based science learning involves unique characteristics, such as intergeneration relationships, serendipity, shared history, and continuity, that need to be better conceptualized and require adjusted methodologies.

In this talk I will present my longitudinal research on science family learning using learning ecosystem approach and the concept of resources use and appropriation, exploring family learning across settings and time. I use video and audio recorded observations for macro and micro analysis of the interactions. Furthermore, I explore the role of emotions within science family engagements using EDA (Electro Dermal Activity) measures to capture real-time emotional engagement.

Previous seminars

Date/time: Tuesday 18 October 2016, 1600-1700
Venue: 32/2097
Chair: David Galbraith
Speaker: Dr Markus Hefter, Bielefeld University, Germany
Title: How can training interventions support science education?

Abstract: Argumentation strategies, such as evaluating arguments or supporting theories with evidence, play a crucial role in science education. They are beneficial for developing deep understanding and well-grounded conclusions; for instance, while processing conflicting scientific positions regarding topics such as sustainable development. This presentation discusses the results of three experimental studies that show the potential of short-term training interventions to foster both the learners’ skill (“competence”) and will (“engagement”) to apply argumentation strategies. Analyses of the learning processes during the training interventions allow further implications, highlighting the crucial role of self-explanations. You can find out more about Dr Hefter, including his recent publications in English at:


Seminar on the Shanghai maths approach

liDate: 6 Oct 2015
Time: 16:00-17:00
Venue: 32/2097

Reservations: click here.

Title: The Shanghai maths approach: An analysis based on a geometry lesson
Speaker: Professor Shiqi Li, East China Normal University

More information is here

Creative science teaching: a disturbing prospect

Dr Ralph Levinson, UCL Institute of Education

Mathematics & Science Learning Centre

In this seminar I will focus on creative science teaching, sidestepping the notion of the creative teacher. I draw on the move from the Aristotelian notion of techne to that of praxis, and Hannah Arendt’s subsequent distinction in The Human Condition of Action from fabrication. Using examples from student teacher practise, I suggest that creative science teaching opens up transformative and existential relationships between students and representations of Nature. This provides them with a new, liberatory and often perturbing sense of agency which transcends the curricular bounds of the subject. I believe such practise can be taught through teacher education programmes, such as the PGCE, and might possibly have the makings of a research programme.

Research and practice in the professional development of teachers

Prof Hercules Nieuwoudt, North-West University, South Africa

This seminar is in the form of a round-table discussion on the topic of research and practice in the professional development of teachers. The seminar begins with a short presentation from Prof Nieuwoudt on teacher professional development in South Africa. This is followed by Ros Hyde giving a short input on initial teacher education in England, and Janice Griffiths and Carys Hughes providing a short input on in-service teacher development in England. These inputs provide the basis for the round-table discussion. Please come to the discussion to contribute your perspectives on research and practice in the professional development of teachers.

Teacher Professional Development in China: A Practical Perspective

Mr. Lijian Wu, Yuqing City Education Bureau, Zhejiang, China

Shanghai students’ stellar performance in mathematics in PISA tests has attracted much international interest in Chinese mathematics education, including in particular the policies and practices about Chinese teachers’ professional development. In this presentation, the speaker, who is a Master Teacher in Mathematics as well as a Teaching Research Fellow from Zhejiang, China, will share his first-hand experience and expertise about polices, practices and issues about teacher professional development in China, providing a brief overview of the systems, functions and selections of Teaching Research Offices, Teaching Research Fellows, Master Teachers, and some other related aspects.

Classroom-based interventions of short duration in mathematics education: can they help alleviate significant problems of student learning?

Dr Gabriel J. Stylianides, University of Oxford

Although there are notable examples of classroom-based intervention studies in mathematics education research, their number is small and acutely disproportionate to the number of studies that documented problems of practice for which solutions are sorely needed. Also, most of the available interventions are of long duration, which makes it hard to use these interventions in different contexts: their possible adoption would require teachers to do substantial reorganisation of the curricula they follow or textbooks they use in order to accommodate the time and other demands of the interventions. In this talk (1) I will discuss the importance of classroom-based interventions of short duration that can help alleviate significant problems of students’ mathematical learning, and (2) I will suggest and illustrate the possibility of designing such interventions by drawing on findings from a 4-year, university-based design experiment.

Educational design principles as a framework for curriculum development

Dr Angela Hall, Design4Ed

In this seminar I aim to distinguish between educational research, educational design and educational design research. I will discuss how the areas of research and design would benefit from more systematic consideration of the potential synergies, and how greater activity in the area of educational design research might benefit science education. Examples from my own research will illustrate a methodology for a design experiment based on the development of Salters- Nuffield Advanced Biology resources


Sociological and psychological perspectives on decision making in Science Education

Dr Jurgen Menthe, University of Hamburg

For students to become responsible citizens and critical consumers they need to be able and willing to transfer scientific knowledge into an everyday context, and use their knowledge to make rational judgements. Theories of Conceptual Change are helpful to explain students’ resistance to using new knowledge, and sociological and psychological theories (e.g. Bourdieu, Haidt, Gigerenzer, Kahnemann) throw doubt on purely rationalistic views about decision making. I will discuss these theories and their possible relevance for science curriculum design.

How young children view mathematical representations: A study using eye-tracking technology

Dr Patrick Barmby, Lecturer in Primary Mathematics, Durham University

The ways in which children access and interpret mathematical representations can be problematic. Eye-tracking technology can help in this respect because it allows data to be gathered concerning children’s focus of attention and so indicate how children might be interpreting the representations. This presentation presents the results of an eye-tracking study with nine Year 5 primary pupils (aged 10) exploring how they ‘looked at’ representations of multiplication.

When is a problem: teaching mathematics as a problem solving discipline

Professor John Mason, Senior Research Fellow, The Open University/University of Oxford

In this seminar, the participants will be invited to consider when and how they enter a state of ‘being in a problem’. Building on our collective experience, attention will be drawn to pedagogic strategies that have proved fruitful over the years for provoking students to develop their mathematical thinking so as to improve their disposition, their actions and their thinking about mathematical problems.

ICT in Mathematics Education: Rich Tasks

Dr Ida Ah Chee MOK, University of Hong Kong. Mathematics Education

In mathematics education, as with many subjects, digital technologies (including calculators, general and educational software, and the internet) have affected not only what to teach but also how to teach. How may teachers’ practices in mathematics classrooms be changed to make use the advantage of technology? The presentation presents the idea of “rich tasks” that may encompass a variety of styles and contexts accessible to everyone at the start and allowing further challenges.

Comments are closed.