Associate Professor Lindsay Hetherington
Associate Professor in Science Education / Deputy Head of School / Head of Initial Teacher Education
+44 (0) 1392 724826
Baring Court BC117
Baring Court, University of Exeter St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
I am an educational researcher and educator who believes that using research to understand education is essential to improving the educational experiences of learners and teachers. A key focus of my research is in science education, where I am particularly interested in the role of the material, natural and embodied world in teaching and learning, particularly with reference to sustainability education and science education. I explore this in the context of science and interdisciplinary learning in formal and informal settings and across age groups and have developed a theoretical position, ‘material-dialogic’ which I am now researching in practice. I use mixed methods in my research, drawing on socio-material/complexity theoretical perspectives to understand the science classroom as a dynamic, relational system. Alongside science education, I have an interest in teacher professional learning and am collaborating on projects exploring international perspectives on teacher retention.
My current leadership roles include Deputh Head of the School of Education, Head of Initial Teacher Education, and co-leadership of the Centre for Research in STEM Education (CRISTEME). If you are interesting in participating in any CRISTEME sessions or activity, please email me.
I have taught extensively, within school and University settings. Primarily, my teaching at the University of Exeter is in Initial Teacher Education, where I am Head of Initial Teacher Education, having previously led the Secondary PGCE Programme and the Science teaching within the Secondary PGCE, School Direct and Teach First programmes. I supervise PGR students for both PhD and EdD programmes and teach on MA Education modules.
PhD candidates interested in working with me on topics related to my research interests described above are welcome to get in touch - but formal applications should be submitted centrally.
PhD Education, Exeter University, 2012.
M.Sc Educational Research, Exeter University; Distinction. 2007.
PGCE Secondary Science (Chemistry), Cambridge University. 2002.
MA, M.Sci Natural Sciences, Cambridge University. 2000.
2020 - Present. Associate Professor of Science Education, Exeter University.
2016 - 2020. Senior Lecturer in Science Education, Exeter University.
2011 - 2016. Lecturer in Science Education, Exeter University.
2007 - 2011. Ted Wragg Teacher Education Research Fellow, Exeter University.
2002-2007. Teacher of Science, Head of Chemistry, Deputy Head of Year 7 at Chew Valley School, Bristol.
2002. Explainer, @-Bristol, Anchor Road, Bristol.
Research group links
I am interested in approaches to science education that engage with school science as a dynamic, questioning and creative practice, rooted in the belief that this is at the core of the discipline of science. This raises challenges in managing tensions between direct instruction with inquiry learning, balancing classroom dialogue, creating effective and engaging practical experiences, and assessment where outcomes may be unpredictable. I use theoretical insights from dialogic theory, new materialism and complexity theory to positively engage with these problems.
I am also interested in teacher education and problems of retention of teachers arising from their work with these tensions between classrooms as complex, creative places and the necessity of school structures.
My PhD (completed in 2012) used Complexity Theory as a basis for a case study of the introduction of a cross-subject 'Opening Minds' curriculum in a UK school with a particular focus on the interaction between Opening Minds and the more traditional approach to teaching Science. The thesis argues that a complex, creative and responsive pedagogy is both feasible and desirable in enabling teachers to work positively with tensions that arise from the uncertainty of real-life classroom practice alongside the structured school settings.
Funded Research Projects include:
- Science Education for Diversity (SED) Project (EU FP7, 2008-2012). This project sought to use international comparison between EU and non-EU countries where the popularity of Science varies to understand influences on pupils' and teachers' attitudes to Science, alongside a series of design-based research studies in which a dialogic, inquiry based approach to science education which aimed to engage diverse students with science was implemented and explored.
- INSTEM network (EU Comenius, 2012-2015). The INSTEM network communicated and disseminated research findings into Inquiry-based STEM Education across a range of EU-funded projects.
- CREATIONs (EU H2020, 2016-2019). The CREATIONs project has developed a pedagogical framework for creative science/arts education in which embodied dialogue, agency and empowerment, risk, and play are all key factors. We are using this to develop, implement and research approaches that aim to support teachers and students in creative science education.
Teacher Education and Professional Development
- Young Enquiring Minds (EU Regio, 2013-2015). I worked as a research support with teachers from the UK and Sweden in an exchange of practice/action research project aimed at developing student enquiry in primary settings.
- RETAIN (EU Comenius, 2013-2016). This project explored issues of teacher retention across 5 partner countries with distinct retention problems, developing and evaluating CPD for senior leaders and schools. For me, a particular interest was in exploring the importance of teacher agency and creativity in engaging positively with risk when faced with difficult contextual factors.
- PROTEACH (EU Erasmus+, 2016-2019). Building on the RETAIN project work, PROTEACH researches the induction of Beginning Teachers through a multi-agency design of bespoke induction programmes.
- 2022 Horizon 2020
HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-70: Developing a STE(A)M roadmap for Science Education in Horizon Europe
- 2018 Erasmus Plus
OCEANS: Developing Ocean Literacy through Creative, Digital Pedagogies. EU Erasmus+ KA2 Schools Innovation
- 2018 Erasmus Plus
SciCulture: Interdisciplinary Learning in HE through creative pedagogies and design thinking.
- 2016 European Union
- 2013 European Union
The overall aim of the RETAIN Project is to create and develop an inclusive and creative school environment. An important precondition for this to happen, and thereby ensuring that the children and young people obtain the relevant key competences that are needed for them to thrive in today’s society, is the presence of highly qualified teachers and school managers.
- 2009 European Union
In this research project, we aim to understand how countries in both Europe and partner countries are addressing the issue of cultural and gender diversity in science education in regard to engaging young people in science education and we also aim to offer ways to help address this issue more effectively. We wish therefore both to understand the relationship between science education and culture and also to provide guidelines and programmes for effective intervention to improve the take up of science education where there is a problem.
- 0 ESRC Impact Acceleration Award
Science/Arts Creative Pedagogy Resource Development
Publications by category
Publications by year
lindsay_hetherington Details from cache as at 2022-12-06 12:59:33
External Engagement and Impact
Deputy Head of School, School of Education, 2022 - Present
Head of Initial Teacher Education, School of Education, 2017 - Present
- Trustee, Ted Wragg Trust, September 2020-
- Member, Russell Group Universities Initial Teacher Education Network, 2019-
- UCET Management Forum, 2019-
- Coopted Governor, Kingsbridge Primary School, 2018-2020
- HE Representative, Women Leading in Education SW, 2018-2020
- UCET Secondary Forum, 2015-2019
External Examiner Positions
- External Examiner. PGCE Secondary Programme. 2018-2022. University of Cambridge.
- External Examiner. PGCE Secondary Science and Mathematics (Teach First). University of Manchester, 2018-19 (maternity cover).
- External Examiner. PGCE Secondary Science. University of Manchester, 2018-2022.
- MEd Thesis External Examiner. Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, 2018.
- External Examiner. PGCE Secondary Science. Bath Spa University. 2012-2016.
External doctoral examining nationally and internationally
- External Examiner (appointed). Richard Dunk, PhD. Manchester Metropolitan University. Submission due October 2021.
- External Examiner. Rebecca Digby, PhD. Bath Spa University. January 2021
- External Examiner. Audrey Doyle, PhD. Maynooth University, Ireland. July 2019.
Invited lectures & workshops
- Invited Presentation to the Centre for Research in Education in STEM, King's College, London, Jan 2023
- Invited Presentation at the ‘Challenges to Implementing Critical Pedagogies’ Meeting, Brazil and London. British Council. June 2021
- Invited Presentation at Dialogic Education Seminar, University of Durham, May 2019.
- Invited Presentation to University of Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group, June 2018.
Journal and book series Editorships and Editorial board membership
Editor, Journal of Research in Science and Technological Education
Editorial Board Member, Research Papers in Education
Research-based contributions to practitioner and academic conferences
- NARST 2022 Paper Presentation
- ESERA 2021 (symposium on the Ocean Connections project)
- BERA 2021 Paper Presenation
- ESERA 2019 Pair of Symposia
- ECER 2018 Symposium (rated 17/20)
- IOSTE 2018 Invited Roundtable
- IOSTE 2018 Invited Symposium
- AARE 2018 Paper Presentation
- ESERA 2017 Paper Presentation
- AERA 2011 Paper Presentation
- AERA 2010 Paper Presentation
- IAACS 2009 Paper Presentation
- BERA 2007 Paper Presentation
I teach on the PGCE Secondary Science course, where I am the Chemistry specialist. Stemming from my time in school I am also interested in the pastoral side to teaching and value the chance to talk about this with student teachers as well as my role as a personal tutor for the PGCE students.
I also teach on the MEd and EdD programmes, and supervise PhD students.
- EDUM039 - Secondary Chemistry Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy
- EDUM048 - Secondary Physics Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy
Supervision / Group
- Hermione Ruck Keene
- Lucy Yeomans
- Bethan Stagg
- Ozlem Aykac
- Benjamin Cain
- Jill Noakes
- Christopher Nnanna ominyi Ominyi
- Kent Rondeau
- Chryssa Sgouridou
- Lisa Spencer
- Heather Wren
- Katherine Evans
- Linzi McKerr
- Asad Shafi
- Elsbieta Sowa