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Department of Education

Liam Guilfoyle

Departmental Lecturer in Science Education

College Affiliation: Kellogg College

Liam is a Departmental Lecturer in Science Education. He teaches on the PGCE Science programme, the MSc in Learning and Teaching, MSc in Medical Education, and leads the Advanced Qualitative Research course for doctoral students across the Social Sciences Division.

He is also a current Co-Chair of the Oxford Research Society, the Research Representative on the University Personnel Committee, and a member of the Research Staff Consultation Group.

His research interests generally centre around (1) teachers’ engagement with and in research, and (2) epistemic beliefs, cognition, and practices within and across disciplines.

Liam is currently leading the FoSTER Project, which seeks to understand the range of ways that school’s support teachers to engage with and in research across the UK and Ireland. He is currently engaged in the H2020-funded ‘FEDORA’ project, focusing on future-orientated science education. Prior to his appointment as a Departmental Lecturer, he was a postdoctoral researcher for three years on the Oxford Argumentation in Religion and Science (OARS) project, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

He has also worked as a researcher on a range of other projects such as an FP7-funded in-service teacher education project on Inquiry Based Science Education (Chain Reaction), a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded project focused on developing the teaching of argumentation on socio-scientific issues in second-level classrooms (STeP into Science), 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 serves as a member of the Teaching Council’s Research Engagement Group (REG) in Ireland, which works to promote teachers’ engagement with and in research. He has also been appointed as the Education Specialist on the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council’s Education and Training Standards Committee.  He is also a member of the Research Committee of NARST: A Worldwide Organization for Improving Science Teaching and Learning through Research, and he is an active member of the European Science Education Research Association. Liam reviews for a range of academic journals in science education and teacher education including the International Journal of Science Education, Science and Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Research in Science & Technological Education, and Psychology Learning and Teaching.

Funded Research Projects:


  • Book chapters

    • GUILFOYLE, L (2022) “Multicomponent and cognitive interviewing”, In: T Delahunty, M Ní Ríordáin (eds.) Perspectives in Contemporary STEM Education Research Research Methodology and Design. London: Routledge. 110-119

    • ERDURAN, S, GUILFOYLE, L (2022) “THE IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH IN SCIENCE TEACHER EDUCATION”, In: Handbook of Research on Science Teacher Education. Routledge.

    • 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

    • Park, W, Erduran, S, Guilfoyle, L (2022) “Secondary teachers' instructional practices on argumentation in the context of science and religious education”, International Journal of Science Education. 44(8) 1251-1276.

    • 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.

    • FANCOURT, N, GUILFOYLE, L (2021) “Interdisciplinary perspective-taking within argumentation: students’ strategies across science and religious education”, Journal of Religious Education.

    • 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.

    • GUILFOYLE, L, ERDURAN, S “Recalibrating the evolution versus creationism debate for student learning: towards students’ evaluation of evidence in an argumentation task”, International Journal of Science Education.

  • Reports

  • Other

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

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