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Dr Helen Gourlay
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
20 Bedford Way
Dr Helen Gourlay profile picture
  • Lecturer in Science Education
  • IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
  • UCL Institute of Education

Dr Helen Gourlay is a Lecturer in Science Education in the Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (CPA) at UCL Institute of Education.

Helen has worked in academic roles in education since 2010. Alongside working at UCL, she currently works with trainee and early-career teachers as a Science Subject Development Lead for Teach First.  Prior to these roles, she worked on university-schools partnership PGCE programmes at Brunel University London, University of East Anglia and King’s College London. Her leadership roles included secondary PGCE programme lead, science PGCE lead, School Direct lead, and Teach First coordinator.

Helen is an active member of the Association for Science Education (ASE) and Institute of Physics, including being Chair of the Anglian region committee of the ASE since 2015. She is a Fellow of the HEA (Advance HE), and an Associate Member of the Chartered College of Teaching.

Before working in teacher education, Helen was a successful and innovative science teacher. She taught science across the secondary age range for 17 years in comprehensive schools in London and Hertfordshire. This experience included working as a Team Leader for Science in two schools.

Alongside her research publications, Helen has published the following articles and book chapters:

Gourlay, H. (2021) Supporting beginning teachers to develop their ability to assess pupils, in Salehjee, S.  (Ed) Mentoring Science Education Teachers in the Secondary School: A Practical Guide. London and New York: Routledge.

Gourlay, H. (2019) Becoming a science teacher: A summary of findings from an action learning intervention. Science Teacher Education. 85(2) pp 16-23

Gourlay, H. and Douglas, E. (2018) Leading science education in a secondary school science department. ASE Guide to Secondary Science Education. Banner, I. & Hillier, J. (Eds.). 4th edition. Hatfield: Association for Science Education. pp 292-306.

Research Summary

Helen’s research interests are in a range of areas of science education, with a particular emphasis on:

•Science teacher development

reflective practice, action learning, the diagnostic teaching cycle

•Children’s and young people’s learning in science

educational assessment, concept mapping, conceptual development

Teaching Summary
Helen teaches postgraduate students on the MA Education programme and MA Education (Science), including supervision of final dissertations.
01-FEB-2017 – 31-JAN-2018 Lecturer in STEM Education Department of Education Brunel University London, United Kingdom
31-JAN-2014 – 01-FEB-2017 Lecturer in Secondary Education (Science) Department of Education and Lifelong Learning (EDU) University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
01-JUN-2010 – 31-JAN-2014 Lecturer in science education Department of Education & Professional Studies King's College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
    A Level – Chemistry,Mathematics,Mathematics not elsewhere classified,Physics  
  MA Science Education  
  PGCert Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice  
  HNC Garden Design  
  Dr Doctorate in Education  
  BA Hons Natural Sciences  
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