Phase I Research Network:






Towards Evidence based Practice in Science Education

This project has now completed. Major outputs include:


Prof Robin Millar (University of York)
Prof John Leach (University of Leeds)
Prof Jonathan Osborne (Kings College London) and
Dr Mary Ratcliffe (University of Southampton)


Initial Project Summary

The aim of the EPSE Research Network was to explore ways in which teachers, and others involved in science education (e.g. textbook writers and examiners), could be encouraged to make greater use of research to enhance pupils’ learning in science. In three inter-related projects, we worked with groups of teachers to develop new materials and approaches and to evaluate these in the classroom.

One project developed diagnostic test materials that teachers can use quickly to obtain good evidence of their pupils’ current understanding and then to modify their teaching. Another group of teachers and researchers developed teaching materials, based on research findings, for some of the key ideas in science. These were evaluated in practice and compared with the ‘traditional’ approach. Also examined, was whether other teachers, not involved in the development process, could use the materials equally effectively.

Having asked a panel of experts about the most important things people need to know about science a third project was working with teachers to develop materials for probing and enhancing pupils’ understanding of these key idea-about-science.

To tie these projects together, a sample of teachers and others involved in science education directly were asked about their knowledge of research and their views on its relevance to their work. This survey improved understanding of the research-practice interface and identify factors which facilitate or inhibit the application of research to enhance pupil learning.


Project Website:


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