UCL Institute of Education

Partner 2 [UCL IoE]

The UCL Institute of Education (UCL IOE) is one of the world’s leading schools for education and social sciences and tops the league table for education research, according to the latest official audit of UK universities. The UCL IOE undertakes around a quarter of the education research carried out in UK universities and is also the second highest recipient of .social science research funding among higher education institutions. In any one year, staff at the UCL IOE is engaged in over 250 research projects funded by research councils, charities, government departments and international agencies.

At present, the UCL IOE trains over 1,400 student teachers annually and works in partnership with over 500 schools and colleges in the London area. The IOE has an excellent track record in initial teacher training and was recognised by the UK Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) in 2010 for its “high quality” initial teacher training programmes that inspire its students to “want to be outstanding teachers”.

The Science Education group at the UCL IOE has strong links with the Science Learning Centre London which is situated in the IOE and is the centre for the professional development of science teachers in the London region. Staff teaches on professional development courses and draw on their research to inform practice. Relevant funded research in the group related to science education focuses on argumentation in socio-scientific issues, how pre-service teachers use science resources in museums, promotion of fieldwork linked to communal resources and political literacy as a component of science teacher training.

WP Involvement

The SSIBL Educational Framework (WP1, leader)

Teacher Professional Development in SSIBL -Primary Education (WP3)

IoE local webpage [en]

IoE PARRISE Brochure [en]

Team Profile

Ralph Levinson is Reader in Education at the UCL Institute of Education. He is leader of the MA in Science Education programme and teaches on the pre-service science teacher programme. Related research activities are in Teachers Understanding of Risk in Socio-Scientific Issues (TURSS), funded by the Wellcome Trust (£265 000) between 2008-10. At present he is a named researcher on The Royal Society’s “Vision for Science and Mathematics Education 5-19” and is director of a joint Brazil-U.K. project ‘Political literacy as a component of science teacher training: opportunities and challenges for practice’, funded by the British Academy. He is the co-author of Valuable Lessons (2001), a research report commissioned by The Wellcome Trust into the teaching of socio-scientific issues, and has given presentations on teaching and learning about Science & Society to policy-making bodies such as the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee and the Science and Policy Parliamentary Study Group. He has written widely on socio-scientific issues, citizenship and science education which has been published in major academic journals and also broadcast on television. He has also run many professional development courses on teaching socio-scientific issues, and regularly teaches about Science and Society on Masters and pre-service teachers’ programmes.

Ruth Amos is Lecturer in Science Education at the UCL Institute of Education. She teaches on the pre-service science teacher programme and MA in Science Education. She is currently studying for a PhD in which she is exploring the potential synergies between learning science outside the classroom and socio-scientific issues, in terms of notions of authenticiity. She is the co-author of Performing Science, a publication which draws upon socio-scientific issues in the context of role play to support teachers’ pedagogy at secondary school level and has written several academic and professional journal articles. As part of the pre-service teacher programme and the MA course, she teaches trainee and experienced teachers about the nuances of using socio-scientific issues and collaborative learning to promote students’ understanding. She also teaches a range of continuing professional development courses for experienced science teachers, including a one-year chemistry enhancement course which explores issues such as sustainable development and climate change in the context of ‘talking to learn chemistry’

European Commission

PARRISE (grant agreement 612438) is a four year programme (2014-2017) funded by the European Commission.

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