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Rosalind Driver Memorial Funds

Who has benefitted?

Over the past 20 years the Rosalind Driver Research Scholarship Fund (RDSF) and Memorial Fund (RDMF) have supported many aspiring academics to gain their PhDs and present their work at national and international conferences. Here are some of those who have benefited from the funds:

Shirin Hine (2019 – present)

Dissertation title: Reimagining teaching and learning in Forest School to support social justice and gender equality in environmental education.

Shirin writes: Having previously worked in journalism, communications and library administration, I joined King’s in 2017 for a part-time MA in Child Studies, which I completed in 2019. My MA dissertation, which explored children’s constructions of gender in Forest School, combined my interests in children’s rights and gender equality with experience gained as a Forest School volunteer with primary-aged children. I am interested in Forest School’s potential to support more socially just forms of environmental education in mainstream schools, specifically with regard to gender equality, and I aim to explore this further in my MPhil/PhD.

Lucy Wood (2018 – present)

Dissertation title: How do teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy influence their pedagogical approaches to practical work in Key Stage 3 science?

Lucy writes: During my 13-year primary and secondary teaching career in Hertfordshire, I led science professional development courses sparking an interest in formative assessment within enquiry-based science. This interest continued through an MA in Science Education at King’s, with my dissertation examining teachers’ attitudes towards and confidence in assessment of science in English primary schools. In my MPhil/PhD study, I will continue to explore teacher beliefs by focusing on how they influence the provision of practical science for 11-14 year olds.


Kate Greer (2017 - present) 

Dissertation title: Perspectives on the role of education in response to climate change

Kate writes: My professional background, spanning fields of climate change, environment and education, led me to an MA Education, Policy and Society at King’s in 2016-17. I enjoyed the MA so much that I continued on with a PhD in 2017-18. My research is examining perspectives of key climate change education stakeholders and how these perspectives are shaping contemporary policy. I am interested in exploring what perspectives, and whose, are influencing climate change education policy in England.


Dr Lucy Yeomans (2014 - 2019)

Dissertation title: Drifting away from science - White British working-class disengagement from post-compulsory science.

Jonathan Roberts (2014 - 2019)

Dissertation title: Family communication and genetics: a mixed methods study.

Jonathan writes: I have worked as a genetic counsellor in both clinical and research environments. In addition to genetic counselling I have worked as a teacher in special needs schools and as a volunteer for the Samaritans. I have a degree in the History and Philosophy of Science. I am currently in the third year of the PhD.

Rachel Cook (2013 - present)

Dissertation title: Investigating the ways in which family culture shapes pupil engagement in learning in an outdoor context: a study of second-generation Sierra Leonean and Nigerian girls.

Rachel writes: My research draws on Bourdieu’s notions of habitus, capital and field to explore the contribution of girls’ personal resources, gained through family processes, to their engagement in learning in an outdoor context. I am currently carrying out the analysis of the data.


Dr Vicky Wong (2012 - 2018) 

Dissertation title: ‘The relationship between school science and mathematics education’.

Vicky writes: Prior to my PhD I spent 10 years as a secondary science teacher in England, Spain and New Zealand, and also worked as an education consultant and writer.  I currently teach on the PGCE course at Oxford University. My research interests include how mathematics is used in school science, the development of science education policy, and school practical work.

Dr Spela Godec
(2013 - 2017)

Dissertation title: Urban girls’ engagement with science within lessons, class visits and family visits to science museums: Interactions of gender, social class and ethnicity 

Spela writes: Prior to starting my PhD study, I studied and worked in the fields of pharmacy, public health and social research. My doctoral research was part of the Enterprising Science project, focusing on 'science capital' and increasing and broadening young people's engagement with science. Since March 2017, I have worked as a Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Education. 


Dr Katherine Ashton (2012 - 2019)

Dissertation title: Articulating the intrinsic value of engaging with chemistry

Katherine writes: After teaching in secondary education, I moved into research and development, undertaking projects at the Institute of Education, King’s College and Teach First, before beginning my PhD in chemistry education at King’s College. I hold an MA in Teaching (IoE) and an MChem in Chemistry (Oxford).  I am currently a Lecturer in Chemistry Education at King’s College London, where I lead PGCE Chemistry.   

Dr Alex Manning
(2006 - 2016)

Dissertation title: Urban Science Teachers: Exploring how their views and experiences can influence decisions to remain in-post or not

Alex writes: I am a lecturer in Science Education at KCL, where I focus on the recruitment of physics teachers and the initial teacher education of science graduates. My research focuses on the retention of teachers within the profession, attempting to better understand how teachers develop throughout their careers as a pathway to more informed retention.

Alexander Moss (2011 - 2015)

Dissertation title: Identifying Impact at the Reach Out Lab: Investigating the impact that STEM outreach experiences at the Reach Out Lab have upon pupils’ identification and engagement with science, in addition to their aspirations to pursue a STEM based future.

Alex writes: Whilst in the final stages of my PhD write up I was fortunate enough to be offered employment as a researcher at Engineering UK (EUK), a leading NGO dedicated to widening participation in engineering and its related STEM subjects. After a year at EUK, I proceeded to work on a collaborative research project between EUK and the University at Bristol, helping to evaluate the national Tomorrow's Engineers project. I am now working as head of research, operations and technology at Zorin Finance, an alternative lender which provides funding for SME builders who have struggled to operate since the 2008 financial crisis.


Dr Naomi Haywood (2011 - 2015)

Dissertation title: Exploring science learning in a botanic garden: A study of families at Kew Gardens

Naomi writes: I am a research associate at University College London (UCL) and I am currently conducting research on the Science Museum’s ‘Building Bridges’ project. My research interests focus on how and why people engage with and learn about science in museums, and the connections they make between museums and their everyday lives.


Dr Amy Seakins (2010 – 2014)

Dissertation title: Meeting scientists: impacts on visitors to the Natural History Museum, London, UK

Amy writes: Following my PhD research I have continued to research science learning and engagement in out-of-school contexts and to apply this in practice. I have worked as a Research Associate on the Enterprising Science project at King’s College London, and at the Wellcome Trust managing funding and supporting researchers in their public engagement. I am currently the Engagement Coordinator for Evaluation and Impact at Imperial College London, where my role focuses on evaluation and research of public engagement programmes.


Dr Melissa Glackin (2007 - 2013)

Dissertation title: Teaching science outside the classroom: the role of teachers’ beliefs and teacher self-efficacy during a two-year professional development programme.

Melissa writes: My research interests are in outdoor science, teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy and environmental science. I am a lecturer in science education at King’s and contribute to the PGCE science programme. I am currently the co-chair for the Outdoor learning Strand for the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA).

Dr Serkan Ucan (2009 - 2013)

Dissertation title: Self and social regulation of learning during scientific inquiry activities: A naturalistic study with Turkish upper primary school students.

Serkan writes: I am an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, Harran University, Turkey. I completed MA and PhD studies at King's College London. My research interests involve; Regulation of Learning Theory, Collaborative Inquiry Science Learning, Flipped Learning, Personal Learning Networks.


Dr Billy Wong (2009 - 2012)

Dissertation title: Science aspirations: Investigating the views of 11-14 year old minority ethnic pupils

Billy writes: After the PhD, I did a postdoc at King’s before becoming a lecturer in education at Roehampton University. My research continues to draw on sociological approaches in the science education context and my latest work is around computer science education. I am currently a Lecturer in Widening Participation at the University of Reading.


Dr Junqing Zhai (2007 - 2011)

Dissertation title: Engaging Children in Learning Ecological Science: Professional Botanic Garden Educators’ Pedagogical Practices

Junging writes: I was a research fellow at the National Institution of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore from Aug. 2011 to Jan 2014. I am now an associate professor at the Department of Education, Zhejiang University, China. My work has been published in Journal of Research in Science Teaching, International Journal of Science Education, Research in Science Education, and Public Understanding of Science.

Emily Dawson (2007 - 2011)

Dissertation title: Non-participation in public engagement with science: A study of four socio- economically disadvantaged, minority ethnic groups

Emily writes: My work focuses on how people engage with and learn about science, with an emphasis on equity and social justice. My current research explores how to disrupt rather than reproduce social disadvantages in relation to science education, engagement and communication. I currently work as a Lecturer in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at UCL. 

Dr Andri Christodoulou (2007 - 2011)

Dissertation titles:

Students’ Conceptions of Theories and Evidence: The Development and Implementation of a New Instrument for Assessment (MRes).

The Science Classroom as a Site of Epistemic Talk: Two Case Studies of Teachers and their Students (PhD).

Andri writes: I am a Lecturer in Education at Southampton Education School. My research focuses on teachers’ use of dialogic argumentation and the development of epistemic discourse in science classrooms. I have taught modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and I am currently leading the MSc Education programmes.

Dr. Natasha Serret 
(2004 - 2010)

Dissertation title: Exploring the relationship between classroom talk and cognitive development in primary science classrooms undertaking a CASE intervention.

Natasha writes: I work as a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at Nottingham Trent University, where I lead the team for Primary Science across all training routes.  I have maintained a research relationship with King’s, most recently as a post-doc on an EU-FP7 funded project ASSIST-ME. I am the co-editor for the next publication of the ASE Guide to Primary Science Education.

Dr Maria Evagorou 
(2005 - 2009)

Dissertation title: Argue-WISE: Exploring young students’ features of argumentation within a socio-scientific issue when they engage with an on-line learning environment Advisors

Maria writes: I am currently an Assistant Professor of Science Education at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, where I have been working since September 2009. The theoretical framework of my work draws upon contemporary perspectives of science education, instructional design and the use of technology in support of learning. I have published in international science education journals, and books, I am currently the co-chair for the Pre-Service Teaching Strand for the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), and I am involved in various EU funded projects.


Dr Jennifer DeWitt (2003 - 2007)

Dissertation title: Supporting teachers on science-focussed school trips: Towards an integrated framework of theory and practice

Jen writes: I'm now a researcher at UCL Institute of Education. Prior to that I was a researcher at King's, working on the ASPIRES and Enterprising Science projects. 


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