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Dr Simon Carson



I joined the department in April 2021 as part of the University of York Science Education Group (UYSEG), working on the Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST) materials.

I graduated from the University of York in theoretical physics before moving to the University of Edinburgh to complete a PhD in theoretical high energy elementary particle physics, and in particular in lattice gauge theory. I then completed a PGCE in mathematics and physics at the University of Cambridge.

I have taught in schools in Yorkshire for 35 years, and before joining UYSEG I was head teacher of a rural North Yorkshire secondary school. During my teaching career, I have been a head of physics, a head of science for 10 years, and in senior leadership roles I have had responsibility for teaching and learning, assessment and data, staff professional development, curriculum and timetabling, and sixth form and have worked on secondment as a senior leader to support other schools on behalf of the LA.

I have also worked for examination boards on specifications and examinations at both GCSE and A level, for the Institute of Physics as part of the central team on the Advancing Physics and Post-16 Initiative project, and have been an editorial board member of Physics Education and Physics Review.

Departmental roles

I currently work on the Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST) project. This project focuses on improving engagement, developing scientific literacy and the effective use of formative assessment to identify and resolve student misconceptions.



  • Best Evidence Science Teaching (BEST)

Research group(s)

External activities


I am a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a Chartered Physicist, a member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and a member of the Association for Science Education.

I am an associate lecturer with the Open University, teaching a science foundation course, and quantum mechanics at level 3.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD