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.