Ms Helen Wilson

Principal Lecturer: Science Education

My career began in Birmingham, as a secondary physics teacher and, after a career break to bring up my family, I taught for seven years in a small village primary school in Oxfordshire. I then moved into higher education and into teacher training. It is a privilege to be able to encourage our future primary teachers to be enthusiastic about teaching science and to enjoy the distinctiveness of the subject. I have also worked with many teachers on various research projects and in CPD, both nationally and internationally.

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • BA (Primary Teacher Education): Gifted and Talented Pathway

Postgraduate

  • Primary PGCE: Science

Research

I am currently working jointly with Science Oxford to lead on the project 'Improving Primary Science Teaching' (2102-15), which is funded by the Education Endowment Fund. We are working with 42 Oxfordshire primary schools, using a randomised control trial methodology.

I was a research consultant on the London G&T project: ‘Teaching Language through Thinking: Supporting and Challenging Advanced EAL Learners in Science’ (2010-11), funded by the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust.

I led the research project: ‘Challenge in Primary Science’, funded by London Gifted & Talented (2006-8)

Research interests

  • Creativity and challenge in primary science education
  • Gifted and talented education
  • Assessment for learning

Consultancy

  • Open website produced for the Primary Science Teaching Trust: Bright Ideas in Primary Science (2008/9) http://www.pstt.org.uk/resources/continuing-professional-development/bright-ideas-in-primary-science.aspx 
  • Continuing professional development for International British Primary Schools in Malaga and Barcelona (2008/9)
  • A four day course for teachers: Creativity and Excitement in Primary Science for SLOGAT (South London Organisation for Gifted and Talented Education) (2009/10)
  • I was invited by the Finnish Board of Education to deliver a keynote (Teaching for Challenge) at the first national conference focused on gifted and talented education for head teachers and educationalists in Helsinki, April 2009
  • Keynote address: Creativity and Excitement in Primary Science at the Annual Primary Science Conference Somerset, 9th July 2010
  • INSET in Vilnius, Lithuania for teachers: 'Using questioning techniques and higher order thinking skills to enhance science teaching and learning', November 2011.
  • Delivery on Masters programme at Stockholm University: Inclusive Gifted and Talented Education, November 2013 
  • Joint delivery of the course: ‘Extending Gifted and More Able Children in Primary Science’ for the National Science Learning Centre in York. This course has run annually from 2006 to present

Conferences

Recent conference papers

  • Wilson, H. (2007) A National Training Programme for Elementary School Gifted and Talented Co-ordinators. The 17th Biennial Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Warwick University England
  • Wilson, H. and Mant, J. (2007) Conceptual Challenge in Elementary Science Lessons: Impact on Attitudes and Achievement. The 17th Biennial Conference of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Warwick University England
  • Wilson, H., Hannula, P. & Honkavaara, J. (2008) From National to International in Gifted Education. The 11th Conference of the European Conference for High Ability (ECHA) Prague, the Czech Republic. September 2008
  • Wilson, H. and Mant, J. (2010) Conceptual Challenge in Primary Science: the raising of standards through inclusive challenge for all. The 3rd World Conference on Science and Technology Education, Tartu, Estonia July 2010
  • Wilson, H. and Mant, J. (2010) What Makes an Exemplary Teacher of Science? The 3rd World Conference on Science and Technology Education, Tartu, Estonia July 2010

Academic qualifications

  • BSc (hons) Physics Birmingham University
  • PGCE Birmingham University
  • MEd (distinction) Education Westminster College Oxford

Publications

  • Journal articles

Journal articles

  • Mant, J. & Wilson, H. (2007) ‘Wobbly Bits: Understanding Simple Circuits’ in Primary Science Review, 98 May/June 2007; pp 29 - 33; Association for Science Education
  • Mant, J., Wilson, H. & Coates, D. (2007) ‘The Effect of Increasing Conceptual Challenge in Primary Science Lessons on Pupils' Achievement and Engagement’ in the International Journal of Science Education 29(14), 5 November, 2007, pp. 1707-1719
  • Wilson, H. (2008) Creativity and Challenge: Making the Links in the Routledge Companion to Gifted Education, Hymer, B. & Balchin, T. eds. London: Routledge
  • Wilson, H., & Mant, J. (2011) What Makes an Exemplary Teacher of Science? The Pupils’ Perspectives School Science Review, Association for Science Education
  • Wilson, H., & Mant, J. (2011) What Makes an Exemplary Teacher of Science? The Teachers’ Perspectives School Science Review, Vol. 93, No 342, September 2011, pp. 121-125,  Association for Science Education