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Biography

Before joining King’s College London Melissa's previous posts included secondary science teacher in inner London and project officer for London Outdoor Science (Field Studies Council) where she wrote several outdoor curriculums.

She is a trustee at the London Wildlife Trust (2017- ) and is an invited fellow of the National Association of Environmental Education (NAEE) and London Environmental Education Forum (LEEF). Alongside her research, these experiences inform Melissa's teaching responsibilities.

Research

Melissa is interested in why teachers teach what they do, and how they do, within the fields of science education and environmental education particularly related to out-of-classroom teaching. To understand teaching behaviour her research has drawn on concepts such as teacher’s beliefs and teacher self-efficacy and she has used ideas around power as theorised by Foucault and Bernstein.

Melissa's research is often situated within professional development contexts or in secondary school formal education contexts - in and outside school. For example, she conducted research on secondary science teachers participating in a two-year professional development programme focused on teaching science in school grounds. In parallel with this research, Melissa and colleagues have developed resources and a programme that supports a teacher’s professional development outside the classroom.

Her current research seeks to understand the current state of environmental education in secondary schools in England and in Japan. This research has been funded by awards from the British Academy/Leverhulme and the Japanese Promotion of Science.

Melissa is a member of the Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (CRESTEM) with a specialism in science education.

Teaching

Melissa is the Director of the MA in STEM Education programme. Between 2013 and 2016 she was the Science PGCE Director and since 2011 she has been the Biology PGCE Director.

Melissa teaches/assesses across several programmes including:

She coordinates the MA modules (30 credits):

PhD supervision

Melissa supervises MPhil/PhD education students. Current PhD students' research areas include the influence of urban children’s experiences on formal outdoor learning; the roots of climate change education; the role of gender in Forest Schools, and science teachers' beliefs and self-efficacy to use practical work. Several students are funded by the Rosalind Driver Studentship.

Further information 

For further details please see Melissa's  Research Staff Profile.