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Department of Education

Alison Cullinane

Honorary Norham Fellow

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.

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