Leader: Professor Robin Millar
Staff in CIRSE undertake research on a wide range of aspects of the teaching and learning of science, mathematics and technology. Current areas of research interest include: teaching and assessing scientific literacy, school students’ attitudes to science and school science, developing students’ argumentation skills, transitions between phases of education, links between curriculum development and teachers’ CPD.
CIRSE together with the Chemical Industry Education Centre (CIEC) form the University of York Science Education Group (UYSEG), which has an international reputation for innovative research-informed curriculum development. CIRSE also has close links with the National Science Learning Centre (NSLC).
Abrahams, I., Reiss, M., & Sharpe, R. (2011). Getting Practical: Improving Practical Work in Science (IPWiS) project – The evaluation. School Science Review 92(342), 37-44.
Abrahams, I. (2011). What does research say about the nature and purpose of practical work? Education in Science, 244 (September) 28-29.
Abrahams, I., Amos, R., Millar, R., Reiss, M., & Whitehouse, M. (2011). Inquiry: Practical experiments in school science lessons and science field trips. In Science & Technology Committee: Written evidence Practical experiments in school science lessons and science field trips: 19 July 2011. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmsctech/writev/1060/1060.pdf
Abrahams, I. (2011). Thinking about practical work. In M. Hollins, (Ed.) ASE guide to secondary science education (pp. 58-65). Hatfield: ASE.
Abrahams, I. (2011). Practical work in school science: A minds-on approach. London: Continuum.
Bennett, J., Lubben, F. and Hampden-Thompson, G. Schools that make a difference to post-compulsory uptake of physical science subjects: some comparative case studies. Paper published electronically, Dec 2011 DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2011.641131
Bennett, J., Hampden-Thompson, G. and Lubben, F. (2011) Schools that make a difference to post-compulsory uptake of science: final project report to the Astra Zeneca Science Teaching Trust. York: University of York, Department of Education.
Hampden-Thompson, G. and Bennett, J. Science Teaching and Learning Activities and Students’ Engagement in Science (accepted for publication by the International Journal of Science Education, 22 July 2011; available on-line 1 September 2011). DOI:10.1080/09500693.2011.608093
Hampden-Thompson, G., Lubben, F. & Bennett, J. (2011) Post-16 physics and chemistry uptake: combining large scale secondary analysis with in-depth qualitative methods. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 34 (3), 279-297.
Bennett, J. (2011) Using evidence to inform practice in science teaching: the promise, the practice, and the potential. In Kelly, B. and Perkins, D. (eds) Cambridge Handbook of Implementation Science for Psychology in Education: How to Promote Evidence Based Programmes and Practices. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bennett, J. Bringing science to life: the impact of teachers’ use of context-based approaches on students’ cognitive and affective responses to science. Invited chapter in R. Taconis and P J. den Brok. Teachers creating context-based learning environments in science. One volume in a series called Advances in Learning Environments Research, edited by Barry Fraser and Jeffrey Dorman. Chapter submitted March 2011.
Bennett, J., Abrahams, I., Braund, M., Gallimore, V., Lubben, F., Mason, Y., &Sharpe, R. (2011). Evaluation of the National STEM Centre Annual Report. Report commissioned by the National Science Learning Centre and the Report commissioned by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. York: University of York, Department of Education.
Bennett, J., Braund, M., Lubben, F., & Mason, Y. (2011). Modes of Professional Development: An evaluation of the impact of different course modes operated across the National Network of Science Learning Centres. Report commissioned by the National Science Learning Centre, York: University of York, Department of Education.
Hampden-Thompson, G. & Bennett, J. (2011) Science teaching and learning activities and students' engagement in science. International Journal of Science Education. Available on iFirst.
Hampden-Thompson, G ., Bennett, J., & Lubben, F. (2011) Post 16 Physics and Chemistry Uptake: Combining Large Scale Secondary Analysis with In-Depth Qualitative Methods. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 34 (3): 279-297.
Bennett, J., Hampden-Thompson, G., & Lubben, F. (2011). Schools that make a difference to post-compulsory uptake of science: final project report to the Astra Zeneca Science Teaching Trust
Millar, R. (2011). Reviewing the National Curriculum for science: Opportunities and challenges. The Curriculum Journal, 22 (2), 167-185.
Millar, R. (2011). Developing a curriculum progression for the topic of light. Paper written for the National Curriculum Review Advisory Group. York: University of York, Centre for Research and innovation in Science Education.
Millar, R. (2011). Outline of a learning progression for the topic of forces. Paper written for the National Curriculum Review Advisory Group. York: University of York, Centre for Research and innovation in Science Education.
Millar, R. (2011). A teaching and learning sequence for electric circuits. Paper written for the National Curriculum Review Advisory Group. York: University of York, Centre for Research and innovation in Science Education.
Amos, R., Reiss, M., Abrahams, I., Millar, R., & Whitehouse, M. (2011). Written evidence submitted by the Institute of Education, University of London and the University of York (Sch Sci 32) to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee enquiry: Practical experiments in school science lessons and science field trips. Retrieved August, 11, 2011 from www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmsctech/writev/1060/1060.pdf
Millar, R. (2011). Energy. In D. Sang (Ed.), Teaching secondary physics. 2nd edition (pp. 1-48). London: Hodder Education.
York Science, supported by the Salters’ Institute, is a pilot project developing support materials for teachers of Key Stage 3 Science. The ‘backward design’ approach begins by focusing on learning outcomes and designing assessment items that will provide evidence of student’ learning. The project is trialling a way of working with teachers using the National STEM Centre website to foster a curriculum development community. The project team, based at CIRSE, is led by Professor Robin Millar and Mary Whitehouse.
Salters Nuffield ‘A’-level Biology (SNAB) is a ground breaking course based on a strong belief that studying biological principles in contexts of real life applications of biology makes content appear more relevant to students. Schools following SNAB report improved student motivation, uptake and retention. However, is there evidence that teaching biology through contexts at ‘A’-level produces higher achievement? If there is, what are contributing factors? A team of researchers from CIRSE led by Professor Judith Bennett and Dr Martin Braund are conducting a year-long project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, to answer these questions.
Judith Bennett, Ian Abrahams, Martin Braund and Fred Lubben, together with Vanya Gallimore in the University Library, will be undertaking a £170,000 research study to assess the impact of the National STEM Centre. The £5m National STEM Centre is funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Department for Children Schools and Families. It opened earlier this year and houses a collection of curriculum resources, including on-line resources, to help school teachers and lecturers engage young people in those subjects.
It aims to raise the profile of science, technology, engineering and maths in schools.
The National STEM Centre represents a significant investment in school education so it is important that its performance is closely monitored to assess its impact in classrooms. Over the next three years, the project will track how educators learn about the Centre, access its resources and use those materials to improve their lessons.
This project, funded by the Aztra Zeneca Teaching Trust, is a combined methods research study that explores a range of individual and school factors that influence the uptake of chemistry and physics in post-compulsory study in England.