Alison is an Honorary Norham Fellow in the department. Her research interests include teacher education, nature of science, practical science, assessment and reflective practice.

Alison is now a Lecturer of Biology Education in the School of Biological Science at the University of Edinburgh, and continues to engage with research, writing and supervision of students in the department in her role as an Honorary Norham Fellow. Prior to coming to Edinburgh, Alison taught in the department for over four years on the PGCE and Masters of Learning and Teaching. She was also a researcher on Project Calibrate and the Fedora Project, as well as engaging in her own research on Nature of Science with pre-service teachers. She arrived at the department in 2018, where she was the post-doctoral researcher for Project Calibrate – a project developing high-stakes assessment questions of practical science for GCSE. Prior to her arrival in the department, she held the positions of Project Officer in Biological Sciences at EPI-STEM (formally the NCE-MSTL), the national STEM Education centre and Regional Co-ordinator for . One of the main aspects of her work was to contribute to the development of evidence-based research and programmes of innovation in science teaching and learning. She also collaborated on projects with other partners, such as work carried out with Discover Sensors and the Mallow Project. She has several years’ experience teaching in science education lecturing positions across a number of institutions in Ireland (NUIG, UL, MICL) and the UK (Oxford, Edinburgh) . In these roles, she taught science and science education courses to national and international students. After completing her undergraduate in Science Education at the University of Limerick, she taught in secondary school in Ireland before returning to complete her Masters in Science Education and her PhD in Science Education. Her Masters work looked at the assessment of Biology in secondary school in Ireland and was supervised by Dr Maeve Liston. Her PhD research examined the development of pre-service teachers’ understanding of the Nature of Science and was supervised by Prof Sibel Erduran (Oxford) and Prof Paul Conway (Limerick). She has researched and published widely in the areas such as the nature of science, argumentation, assessment, science education and teacher education.


Book chapters
  • Cullinane, A., Ioannidou, O., & Erduran, S. (2021). Brandon’s Matrix: a view on scientific methods in biology classrooms. In T. McCloughlin (Ed.), The Nature of Science in Biology: A Resource for Educators (pp. 146-161). Graphikon Teo.

  • Erduran, S., Kaya, E., Cullinane, A., Imren, O., & Kaya, S. (2020). Practical Learning Resources and Teacher Education Strategies for understanding Nature of Science. In Nature of Science in Science Instruction (pp. 377-397). Springer Nature.

  • Cullinane, A., Erduran, S., & Wooding, S. (2019). Assessment of practical chemistry in England: an analysis of scientific methods assessed in high-stakes examinations. In M. Schultz, S. Schmid, & G. Lawrie (Eds.), Research and Practice in Chemistry Education: Advances from the 25th IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education 2018 (pp. 135-148). Springer Verlag.

  • Cullinane, A., & O’Dwyer, A. (2019). Lesson Resources and Teaching Strategies on Argumentation for Secondary Chemistry Education. In ARGUMENTATION IN CHEMISTRY EDUCATION: RESEARCH, POLICY AND PRACTICE (pp. 62-78).

  • Erduran, S., Cullinane, A., & Wooding, S. (2019). Assessment of Practical Chemistry in England: An Analysis of Scientific Methods Assessed in High-Stakes Examinations. In Research and Practice in Chemistry Education (pp. 135-147). Springer Nature.

  • Journal articles
  • Cullinane, A., McGregor, D., Frodsham, S., Hillier, J., & Guilfoyle, L. (2022). Transforming a doctoral summer school to an online experience: a response to the COVID‐19 pandemic. British Journal of Educational Technology, 53(3), 558-576.

  • caramaschi, M., Cullinane, A., Levrini, O., & Erduran, S. (2021). Mapping the nature of science in the Italian physics curriculum: from missing links to opportunities for reform. International Journal of Science Education, 44(1), 115-135.

  • Puttick, S., & Cullinane, A. (2021). Towards the nature of geography for geography education: an exploratory account, learning from work on the nature of science. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 46(3), 343-359.

  • Erduran, S., El Masri, Y., Cullinane, A., & Ng, Y. (2020). Assessment of practical science in high stakes examinations: a qualitative analysis of high performing English-speaking countries. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENCE EDUCATION, 1-24.

  • Erduran, S., El Masri, Y., Cullinane, A., & Lim-Ng, D. (2020). Assessment of practical science in high stakes examinations: a qualitative analysis of high performing English-speaking countries. International Journal of Science Education, 42(9), 1544-1567.

  • Cullinane, A., Erduran, S., & Wooding, S. (2019). Investigating the diversity of scientific methods in high-stakes chemistry examinations in England. International Journal of Science Education, 41(16), 2201-2217.

  • Cullinane, A., & Liston, M. (2016). Review of the Leaving Certificate biology examination papers (1999–2008) using Bloom’s taxonomy – an investigation of the cognitive demands of the examination. Irish Educational Studies, 35(3), 249-267.