Department of Education

Liam Guilfoyle

Research Officer

Liam is a Research Officer currently working on the Oxford Argumentation in Religion and Science (OARS) project, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

Before joining the department, Liam completed his PhD research at the University of Limerick School of Education and the National Centre for STEM Education (EPI·STEM) under the supervision of Dr Orla McCormack and Prof Sibel Erduran. His research focus has primarily been on teachers’ epistemic beliefs and perceptions of their teacher education, particularly science teachers. However, Liam has also been involved in a range of other research projects such as an FP7-funded in-service teacher education project on Inquiry Based Science Education, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded project focused on developing the teaching of argumentation on socio-scientific issues in second-level classrooms, an evaluation of SFI’s national Celebrate Science Week, and a National Forum for Teaching and Learning commissioned exploration of non-accredited CPD for those who teach in Higher Education.

Liam is particularly motivated by exploring the challenges and possibilities for teachers drawing on educational research for classroom practice and to this end, he is a member of the Teaching Council’s Research Engagement Group (REG) in Ireland, which works to promote teachers’ engagement with and in research.

Liam also serves as a reviewer for the International Journal of Science Education and NARST: A Worldwide Organization for Improving Science Teaching and Learning through Research.

Funded Research Projects:

  • Subjects Taught

    MSc in Learning and Teaching


  • Book chapters

    • O'Reilly, J, GUILFOYLE, L, Lehane, L (2019) “Chain Reaction: The Irish Context”, In: S Bevins, L Lehane, J Booth (eds.) Comparative Perspectives on Inquiry-Based Science Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. 47-69

  • Conference papers

    • GUILFOYLE, L, McCormack, O, ERDURAN, S “Wishy-Washy Nonsense”: Student Science Teachers Epistemic Comparisons of Educational Studies and Physical Sciences.

    • GUILFOYLE, L, McCormack, O, ERDURAN, S A Longitudinal Study of Science Teachers’ Personal Epistemologies and Perceptions of Education Studies.

    • GUILFOYLE, L, ERDURAN, S, McCormack, O Exploring the influence of pre-service science teachers’ personal epistemologies on their perceptions of education studies.

    • GUILFOYLE, L, McCormack, O, ERDURAN, S Science Teachers’ Views of Education Studies vs the Natural Sciences.

  • Journal articles

    • Guilfoyle, L, McCormack, O, Erduran, S (2020) “The "tipping point" for educational research: The role of pre-service science teachers’ epistemic beliefs in evaluating the professional utility of educational research”, Teaching and Teacher Education. 90 103033-103033.

    • Chan, J, Fancourt, N, Guilfoyle, L (2020) “Argumentation in religious education in England: an analysis of locally agreed syllabuses”, British Journal of Religious Education. 1-14.

    • ERDURAN, S, GUILFOYLE, L, PARK, W, CHAN, J, FANCOURT, N (2019) “Argumentation and interdisciplinarity: Reflections from the Oxford Argumentation in Religion and Science Project”, Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Science Education Research.

    • O'Grady, E, Guilfoyle, L, McGarr, O (2018) “"Biting one's lip" and "distancing": exploring pre-service teachers' strategies in dysfunctional professional relationships”, ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION. 46(4) 369-383.

    • McGarr, O, O'Grady, E, Guilfoyle, L (2017) “Exploring the theory-practice gap in initial teacher education: moving beyond questions of relevance to issues of power and authority”, JOURNAL OF EDUCATION FOR TEACHING. 43(1) 48-60.

    • Kelly, R, ERDURAN, S, Walshe, G, GUILFOYLE, L “STeP into Science Project: Engaging Students, Teachers and Parents in Debates”, Chemistry in Action.

    • GUILFOYLE, L, ERDURAN, S, PARK, W “An investigation into secondary teachers’ views of argumentation in science and religious education”, Journal of Beliefs and Values: studies in religion and education.

    • ERDURAN, S, GUILFOYLE, L, PARK, W “Science and religious education teachers’ views of argumentation and its teaching”, Research in Science Education.

    • GUILFOYLE, L, HILLIER, J, FANCOURT, N “Students’ argumentation in the contexts of science, religious education, and interdisciplinary science-religious education scenarios”, Research in Science and Technological Education.

  • Reports

  • Other

    • GUILFOYLE, L (2020) How children can learn to balance science and religion. The Conversation:

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