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Department of Education

Judith Hillier

Associate Professor of Science Education (Physics)

College Affiliation: Kellogg College

Judith Hillier has been at the University of Oxford Department of Education since 2007, where she leads the science PGCE programme, teaches on the Masters in Learning and Teaching and the Masters in Teacher Education, and also runs the Teaching Physics in Schools option for 2nd year physics undergraduates. She is Fellow and Vice-President of Kellogg College, Oxford. Prior to that, after completing a degree in Physics at the University of St Andrews and her PhD in condensed matter physics from the University of Leeds and the Institut Laue Langevin, Grenoble, Judith studied on the Oxford PGCE programme and taught for several years in an Oxfordshire comprehensive school, becoming Key Stage 3 Co-ordinator. Judith’s research interests lie in the education of science teachers, the recruitment and retention of physics teachers, the role of language in the development of scientific explanations in the classroom, and gender and diversity in STEM education. She is on the Editorial Boards for Research in Science and Technological Education and for Physics Education, and has conducted the evaluations for the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics  for the Institute of Physics for the last 7 years. She has mentored at the 2020 and 2021 European Science Education Research Association Doctoral Summer Schools, and was part of the local organising committee in 2020.

Doctoral Applications

Judith welcomes doctoral applications from students interested in the following research areas

  • Pedagogical practice in physics and science education
  • Developing explanations in science classrooms
  • Recruitment and retention of science teachers
  • Gender in science education


  • Books

  • Book chapters

    • Childs, A., Hillier, J., Amini, J., Farmer, S., Jorda, J., Hearn, S., & Starr, R. (2022). DEVELOPING THE PRACTICE OF TEACHER EDUCATORS: The role of practical theorising. In Practical Theorising in Teacher Education: Holding Theory and Practice Together (pp. 179-196).

    • Hillier, J., Cullinane, A., Harris, R., Jakoby, S., Childs, A., & Erduran, S. (2022). PRACTICAL THEORISING IN A CHANGING CONTEXT: Enabling beginning science teachers to negotiate different expectations in the reality of schools. In Practical Theorising in Teacher Education: Holding Theory and Practice Together (pp. 66-80).

    • HILLIER, J., & Farmer, S. (2021). Earth in Space. In J. de Winter, M. Hardman, & C. Harrison (Eds.), Teaching Secondary Physics 3rd Edition. Hachette UK.

    • Taylor, R., & HILLIER, J. (2018). Developing science explanations in the classroom: The role of the written narrative. In G. STYLIANIDES & A. CHILDS (Eds.), Classroom-based interventions across subject areas: Research to understand what works in education (pp. 73-97). Routledge.

    • El Masri, Y. (2018). International assessments of science: Key points explained. In I. Banner & J. Hillier (Eds.), ASE Guide To Secondary Science 4th Edition. Association for Science Education.

  • Journal articles

    • Cullinane, A., Hillier, J., Childs, A., & Erduran, S. (2022). Teachers’ perceptions of Brandon’s Matrix as a framework for the teaching and assessment of scientific methods in school science. Research in Science Education.

    • 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.

    • Guilfoyle, L., Hillier, J., & Fancourt, N. (2021). Students’ argumentation in the contexts of science, religious education, and interdisciplinary science-religious education scenarios. Research in Science and Technological Education.

    • Hillier, J., & Ioannidou, O. (2021). Using practical work: strategies to avoid closing down practice. Science Teacher Education, 89(3), 27-34.

    • Miller-Friedmann, J., Childs, A., & Hillier, J. (2017). Approaching gender equity in academic chemistry: lessons learned from successful female chemists in the UK. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 19(1), 24-41.

    • Bryant, P., Nunes, T., Hillier, J., Gilroy, C., & Barros, R. (2015). THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ABLE TO DEAL WITH VARIABLES IN LEARNING SCIENCE. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 13(1), 145-163.

    • Pendrill, A., & Hillier, J. (2015). Educating the educators. Physics Education, 50(2), 127-128.

    • Hillier, J. (2013). How does that work? Developing pedagogical content knowledge from subject knowledge. Teacher Education and Practice, 26(2), 321-338.

    • Hillier, J., de Winter, J., & Twidle, J. (2013). I Could Enjoy Teaching: The Case of Physics. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 13(3), 287-302.

    • Hillier, J. (2012). Having it all. PHYSICS WORLD, 25(12), 23-24.

    • Hillier, J. (2012). Assessing Pupils’ Progress: Taking the debate further. Science Teacher Education, 64, 28-35.

    • Stewart, J., Hillier, J., Manuel, P., & Cywinski, R. (2011). A neutron polarization analysis study of moment correlations in (Dy <inf>0.4</inf>Y<inf>0.6</inf>)T<inf>2</inf> (T = Mn, Al). Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, 23(16).

    • Stewart, J., Hillier, A., Hillier, J., & Cywinski, R. (2010). Structural and dynamical study of moment localization in β -Mn1-x Inx. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, 82(14).

    • Stewart, J., Deen, P., Andersen, K., Schober, H., Barthélémy, J., Hillier, J., Murani, A., Hayes, T., & Lindenau, B. (2009). Disordered materials studied using neutron polarization analysis on the multi-detector spectrometer, D7. Journal of Applied Crystallography, 42(1), 69-84.

    • Hillier, A., Hillier, J., Stewart, J., & Cywinski, R. (2001). A μSR Study of Er Spin Dynamics in (Y1−xErx)Ni2B2C Superconductors. Hyperfine Interactions, 136(3), 313-319.

  • Reports

    • Nunes, T., Bryant, P., Strand, S., Hillier, J., Barros, R., & Miller-Friedmann, J. (2017). Review of SES and Science Learning in Formal Educational Settings. In Education Endowment Foundation Evidence Reviews. Education Endowment Foundation.

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