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Liam Cini O'Dwyer

Liam Cini O'Dwyer

PhD Candidate

Research interests

  • Education
  • Equality
  • Diversity

Biography

Liam’s career has included being a secondary school science teacher since 2003. He has held departmental and whole school leadership positions of responsibility in several schools before moving into academia. He continues to teach part-time at a secondary school in Westminster.

Alongside teaching and school leadership and management, Liam has been closely involved in developing and delivering professional development for science teachers and aspiring school middle managers with a focus on best practices in teaching and learning.

Liam joined King’s in 2019, initially completing a Master's in STEM Education before being awarded a Rosalind Driver studentship to study for a PhD.

Alongside his studies, he takes part in the CRESTEM doctoral forum and the Queer@King’s PhD-led reading group; he presented at the MA in STEM Education celebration event in November 2021 and delivered support sessions for the new MA STEM Education students. He has presented at the Association for Science Education’s national conference on the topic ‘Teachers as researchers: Innovative responses to the STEM Agenda’ and at the OECD’s PISA conference advising on what should be included in the forthcoming ‘Global Competence’ assessment.

Research

Liam is interested in the queering of STEM education, particularly the science curriculum. He is interested in discovering the experiences of LGBTI+ students with regards to their science education and what barriers they face in choosing to continue studying science beyond secondary school.

His research draws on the limited inquiry into LGBTI+ children’s experience of schooling particularly on a curricula level. Recent government reports and academic research has shown that there is a leaky pipeline for LGBTI+ people in STEM and that many either leave the profession or are forced back in the closet due to hostile workplace environments. However, there is a lack of evidence as to why fewer LGBTI+ students choose to study STEM subjects beyond secondary school.

Liam’s Master's dissertation focused on attitudes towards different grouping models in science in a secondary school in London, exploring the views of students, parents, and teachers. It sought to discover if there was interest in making academic setting more socially just. The study illustrated that participants significantly favoured academic ‘setting’ over ‘mixed-ability grouping' in science. However, when given the choice they strongly preferred to have assignment to those groups not just to be based on academic attainment but for it to also be informed by results from the Science Capital Approach.

In his doctoral research, Liam is working with LGBTI+ science students of late secondary (16–18-year-olds). The study is exploring the experiences of LGBTI+ students’ science education - specifically, what are the barriers for LGBTI+ students in choosing to study science beyond secondary school.

Liam's thesis title is: Investigating issues of inclusion/exclusion and participation of secondary school science education, using LGBTI+ perspectives.

His principal supervisor is Prof Lulu Healy, and his secondary supervisor is Dr Richard Brock.

    Research

    CRESTEM PGCE outside
    Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (CRESTEM)

    Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (CRESTEM)

    Q@K banner
    Queer@King's

    Centre for research and teaching in gender and sexuality studies and a hub for collaborative work with queer activists, artists, and communities.

    News

    What does it mean to do critical research and engage with 21st century challenges? King's researchers give answers in new podcast

    ‘It’s Just Research - Critically questioning the world we live in’ is a new podcast made by researchers, with researchers, for researchers, and anyone keen to...

    Its just research podcast 780x440

    Scholarships available for the STEM Education MA

    We are offering 15 scholarships covering 70% of the tuition fees to teachers based in England who want to do an MA in STEM Education.

    Student holding a balloon in a lab

    Features

    It's Just Research, Ep. 1: 'Bringing politics into the science classroom, with Arthur Galamba'

    In the first episode of ‘It’s Just Research: Critically questioning the world we live in’, we talked to Dr Arthur Galamba, Senior Lecturer in Science...

    ECS podcast ep1 fascism

    Why we need to start exploring LGBTI+ youths' experience of science education

    In this blog, Liam Cini O'Dwyer reflects on his MA in STEM Education and how it introduced him to the world of education research. He explains how he...

    joyce-mccown-rainbox liquids

      Research

      CRESTEM PGCE outside
      Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (CRESTEM)

      Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (CRESTEM)

      Q@K banner
      Queer@King's

      Centre for research and teaching in gender and sexuality studies and a hub for collaborative work with queer activists, artists, and communities.

      News

      What does it mean to do critical research and engage with 21st century challenges? King's researchers give answers in new podcast

      ‘It’s Just Research - Critically questioning the world we live in’ is a new podcast made by researchers, with researchers, for researchers, and anyone keen to...

      Its just research podcast 780x440

      Scholarships available for the STEM Education MA

      We are offering 15 scholarships covering 70% of the tuition fees to teachers based in England who want to do an MA in STEM Education.

      Student holding a balloon in a lab

      Features

      It's Just Research, Ep. 1: 'Bringing politics into the science classroom, with Arthur Galamba'

      In the first episode of ‘It’s Just Research: Critically questioning the world we live in’, we talked to Dr Arthur Galamba, Senior Lecturer in Science...

      ECS podcast ep1 fascism

      Why we need to start exploring LGBTI+ youths' experience of science education

      In this blog, Liam Cini O'Dwyer reflects on his MA in STEM Education and how it introduced him to the world of education research. He explains how he...

      joyce-mccown-rainbox liquids