Professor of Education/International Champion
Interview with Professor Mike Watts, Professor of Education at Brunel University, London
Mike Watts’ new book, Debates in Science explores the major issues all science teachers encounter in their daily professional lives. Find out more by visiting www.routledge.com/9780415658294 Published by Routledge, October 2013.
I have carried out major studies of classroom interactions often, but not always, concerning the learning of science. My recent work has looked at the means by which learner’s own questions can be used as a basis for inquiry-based teaching, the manner in which feelings and emotions shape learning, and modes in which classroom technologies can be used to enhance learning processes. In 2003 I was awarded a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship for his excellence in teaching, and have used the award to further research and scholarship into teaching and learning in higher education. In 2004 I was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. I have undertaken consultancy work for universities in Brazil, been part of a World Bank Rapid Response team within Latin America, and a review team for teacher education in Lithuania. I am currently a consultant to the Teaching Council of Ireland and external examiner for the National University of Ireland.
First in the Family Project
This project has explored the learning of students who are ‘first-in-their-family’ at Brunel University. We have talked to students of different ages, ethnicity, learner biographies and personal background. Three videos of their experiences can be seen here:
Interview with Poonam Bhatoa - Why Brunel?
Interview with Olufemi Oluwasanya - Why Brunel?
Interview with Elizabeth Allen - Why Brunel?
- British Educational Research Journal
- Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
- Chemistry Education: Research and Practice in Europe
- Early Child Development and Care
- Education in Science
- Educational Psychology
- Educational Research and Evaluation
- Education and Training
- International Journal of Children’s Spirituality
- International Journal of E-Literacy
- International Journal of Science Education
- Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
- Journal of Curriculum Studies
- Journal of Educational Television
- Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Papers in STSE Education
- Oxford Review of Education
- Physics Education
- Research in Education
- Research in Science and Technology Education
- School Science Review
- Science Education
- The Curriculum Journal
After qualifying as a teacher at Doncaster College of Education he taught physics and science in Hackney, London and Kingston, Jamaica before entering educational research at University of Surrey, where he led a project investigating young people’s understanding of physics. He left Surrey having established a successful project and completed his doctorate, to join the Schools Council’s Secondary Science Curriculum Review as Project Officer. In 1986 Mike joined Roehampton University as lecturer and, in the following years moved to Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor, Dean of School, Federal Professor and then Principal of Froebel College.
Mike has carried out major studies of classroom interactions often, but not always, concerning the learning of science. His recent work has looked at the ways in which learner’s own questions can be used as a basis for inquiry-based teaching, the ways in which feelings and emotions shape learning, and ways in which classroom technologies can be used to enhance learning processes.
In 2003 he was awarded a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship for his excellence in teaching, and has used the award to further research and scholarship into teaching and learning in higher education. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He is an honorary visiting Professor at Dublin City University, and University of Aveiro in Portugal, and an external examiner for University College Cork.
Mike has published widely in his field of science education through his books, journal articles and many conference papers. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Science Education, the Research in Science and Technology Education and for Research in Education. He is keen to teach and contributes to programmes at post-graduate, masters and doctoral level within the School. He currently has ten PhD students at various stages of their work, and has been external examiner at a number of universities both national and international.
I have been a consultant for the Teaching Council of Ireland and external examiner for the National University of Ireland. I am currently working with Institute of Education at the University of Mauritius.
Pedrosa de Jesus, HM. , Guerra, C. and Watts, M. (2016) 'University teachers’ self-reflection on their academic growth'. Professional Development in Education. doi: 10.1080/19415257.2016.1194877 Download publication
Crowe, N. and Watts, DM. (2014) ''When I click "ok" I become Sassy – I become a girl.' Young people and gender identity: Subverting the ‘body’ in massively multi-player online role-playing games'. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 19 (2). pp. 217 - 231. doi: 10.1080/02673843.2012.736868 Download publication
Pedrosa de Jesus, MH. , Moreira, AC. , da Silva Lopes, B. and Watts, DM. (2014) 'So much more than just a list: Exploring the nature of critical questioning in undergraduate sciences'. International Journal of Science Education, 32 (2).
Crowe, N. and Watts, DM. (2013) 'Editorial feature'. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 18 (1). pp. 1 - 4. doi: 10.1080/02673843.2012.757018
Kanhadilok, P. and Watts, DM. (2013) 'Western science and local Thai wisdom: Using museum toys to develop bi-gnosis'. Canadian Journal for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 13 (1). pp. 33 - 48. doi: 10.1080/14926156.2013.758330
Pedrosa-de-Jesus, H. , da Silva Lopes, B. , Moreira, A. and Watts, DM. (2012) 'Contexts for questioning: Two zones of teaching and learning in undergraduate science'. Higher Education, 64 (4). pp. 557 - 571. doi: 10.1007/s10734-012-9512-9 Download publication
Kanhadilok, P. and Watts, DM. (2012) 'Family play-learning: Some learning outcomes from make-and-play activities with toys at a science museum'. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal, 1 (2).
Pedrosa-de-Jesus, H. and Watts, DM. (2012) 'Managing affect in learners' questions in undergraduate science'. Studies in Higher Education, 39 (1). pp. 102 - 116. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2011.646983 Download publication
Barker, J. , Alldred, P. , Watts, DM. and Dodman, H. (2010) 'Pupils or prisoners? Institutional geographies and internal exclusion in UK secondary schools'. Area, 42 (3). pp. 378 - 386. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2009.00932.x Download publication
Coole, H. and Watts, DM. (2009) 'Communal e-learning styles in the online classroom'. Research in Education, 82 pp. 13 - 27. doi: 10.7227/RIE.82.2
Almeida, P. , Pedrosa de Jesus, HM. and Watts, DM. (2008) 'Developing mini-projects: Students’ questions and learning styles'. The Psychology of Education Review, 32 (1). pp. 6 - 17.
Mallick, J. and Watts, DM. (2007) ''Drugsbridge': A humanistic approach to drug education'. Research in Education, 78 (1). pp. 110 - 128.
Mallick, J. and Watts, DM. (2007) 'Personal construct theory and constructivist drug education'. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26 (6). pp. 595 - 603. doi: 10.1080/09595230701613551
Watts, DM. , Almeida, P. and Pedrosa de Jesus, H. (2005) 'Orchestrating learning and teaching in inter-disciplinary chemistry'. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 5 (1). pp. 71 - 84.
Pedrosa de Jesus, H. , Almeida, P. and Watts, M. (2004) 'Questioning styles and students' learning: Four case studies'. Educational Psychology, 24 (4). pp. 531 - 548. doi: 10.1080/0144341042000228889
Barbosa, R. , Jófili, Z. and Watts, M. (2004) 'Cooperating in constructing knowledge: case studies from chemistry and citizenship'. International Journal of Science Education, 26 (8). pp. 935 - 949. doi: 10.1080/0950069032000138842
Alsop, S. and Watts, M. (2003) 'Science education and affect'. International Journal of Science Education, 25 (9). pp. 1043 - 1047. doi: 10.1080/095009032000052180
Watts, M. (2001) 'The PLUS factors of family science'. International Journal of Science Education, 23 (1). pp. 83 - 95. doi: 10.1080/09500690116754
Watts, M. (2001) 'Science and poetry: passion v. prescription in school science?'. International Journal of Science Education, 23 (2). pp. 197 - 208. doi: 10.1080/095006901750039899
Watts, M. and Jofili, Z. (1998) 'Towards critical constructivist teaching'. International Journal of Science Education, 20 (2). pp. 173 - 185. doi: 10.1080/0950069980200204
Watts, M. , Alsop, S. and Zylbersztajn, A. (1997) ''Event-centred-learning': An approach to teaching science technology and societal issues in two countries'. International Journal of Science Education, 19 (3). pp. 341 - 351. doi: 10.1080/0950069970190306
Watts, M. , Alsop, S. , Gould, G. and Walsh, A. (1997) 'Prompting teachers' constructive reflection: Pupils' questions as critical incidents'. International Journal of Science Education, 19 (9). pp. 1025 - 1037. doi: 10.1080/0950069970190903
Watts, M. (1996) 'AreviewofDriver, R. Leach, J; Millar, R, and Scott, P. (1996) Young People’s Images of Science'. British Council Science Education Newsletter. pp. 26 - 27.
Vaz, A. and Watts, M. (1996) 'A clash of cultures: Physics and the primary scientist'. Early Child Development and Care, 117 (1). pp. 99 - 112. doi: 10.1080/0300443961170107
Watts, M. and Taber, K. (1996) 'An explanatory gestalt of essence: Students’ conceptions of the ‘natural’ in physical phenomena'. International Journal of Science Education, 18 (8). pp. 939 - 954. doi: 10.1080/0950069960180806
Taber, K. and Watts, M. (1996) 'The secret life of the chemical bond: students’ anthropomorphic and animistic references to bonding'. International Journal of Science Education, 18 (5). pp. 557 - 568. doi: 10.1080/0950069960180505
Watts, M. and Bentley, D. (1994) 'Humanizing and feminizing school science - reviving anthropomorphic and animistic thinking in constructivist science-education'. International Journal of Science Education, 16 (1). pp. 83 - 97. doi: 10.1080/0950069940160106
Watts, M. and Ebbutt, D. (1988) '6th-formers views of their science-education, 11-16'. International Journal of Science Education, 10 (2). pp. 211 - 219. doi: 10.1080/0950069880100209
Watts, DM. and Bentley, D. (1987) 'What makes good science-education television'. Journal of Educational Television, 13 (3). pp. 201 - 215.
Watts, DM. (2013) 'Foreword', in Roffey-Barentsen, J. and Malthouse, R. (eds.) Reflective practice in the lifelong learning sector. London Learning Matters
Sharda, M. and Watts, DM. (2011) 'Health and sex education in India: The collapse of a policy', in Taylor, N. , Quinn, F. , Littledyke, M. and Coll, RK. (eds.) Health education in context: An international perspective on the development of health education in schools and local communities. Sense Publications
Almeida, P. , Pedrosa de Jesus, MH. and Watts, DM. (2011) 'Kolb’s learning styles and approaches to learning through the use of students’ critical questions', in Rayner, SA. and Cools, E. (eds.) International perspectives on style differences in human performance: Leading edge research, theory and practice. New York Routledge pp. 115 - 128.
Watts, DM. and Pedrosa de Jesus, H. (2010) 'Questions and science', in Toplis, R. (ed.) How Science Works: Exploring effective pedagogy and practice. London Routledge pp. 85 - 102.
Selvaruby, PS. and Watts, DM. (2009) 'Environmental education in a troubled land', in Taylor, N. , Littledyke, M. , Eames, C. and Coll, RK. (eds.) Environmental education in context: An international perspective on the development of environmental education. London Sage
Leask, M. and Watts, DM. (2009) 'Unit 2.3: Taking responsibility for the whole classroom', in Capel, S. , Leask, M. and Turner, A. (eds.) Learning to teach. London Routledge
Valkanova, Y. and Watts, D. (2008) 'Digital story telling in a science classroom: Reflective self-learning (RSL) in action', in Evans, R. and Jones, D. (eds.) Metacognitive approaches to developing oracy: Developing speaking and listening with young children. London Routledge
Selvaruby, P. , O'Sullivan, B. and Watts, DM. (2008) 'School-based assessment in Sri Lanka: Ensuring valid processes for assessment-for-learning in physics', in Coll, RK. and Taylor, N. (eds.) Science Education in Context: An International Examination of the Influence of Context on Science Curricula Development and Implementation. Rotterdam, The Netherlands Sense Publishers pp. 131 - 144.
Watts, M. (2005) 'Orchestrating the confluence: a discussion of science, passion and poetry', in Alsop, S. (ed.) Beyond Cartesian Dualism: Encountering Affect in the Teaching and Learning of Science. Dordrecht Springer (29) : pp. 149 - 159.
Kanhadilok, P. and Watts, DM. (2012) 'Zones of play-learning: Teaching science through traditional toys within the National Science Museum, Thailand' , Geographies of Education Conference. Lougborough University. September. [unpublished].
Pedrosa de Jesus, MH. and Watts, DM. (2012) 'Learning styles and questioning styles' , 17th Annual Conference of European Learning Styles Information Network (ELSIN). Cardiff University, Wales. 27 [unpublished].
Kanhadilok, P. and Watts, DM. (2012) 'Toy make-and-play activities and science learning outcomes' , International Ireland Conference on Education (IICE). University College Dublin. [unpublished].
Karim, BW. , Toplis, TT. and Watts, DM. (2011) 'Preliminary investigations of primary pre-service teachers professional problem solving styles' , 16th Annual Conference of the European Learning Styles Information Network. Antwerp, Belgium. 29 - 1 July. [unpublished].
Pedrosa de Jesus, MH. , da Silva Lopes, B. and Watts, DM. (2009) 'The interplay of preferential teaching approaches and classroom questioning in higher education: Two case studies' , 14th ELSIN Conference. Bulle-en-Gruyere, Switzerland. [unpublished].
Pedrosa de Jesus, MH. , Watts, DM. and da Silva Lopes, B. (2009) 'Teaching approaches in higher education: The role of classroom questioning' , London Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 7th International Conference. City University, London. 4 [unpublished].
Almeida, P. , Pedrosa de Jesus, H. and Watts, DM. (2008) 'Learning styles: A review of research presented at ELSIN conferences' , 13th Annual Conference of the European Learning Styles Information Network: Style and cultural differences: how can organisations, regions and countries take advantages of style differences?. Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Gent, Belgium. 23 - 25 June. [unpublished].
Pedrosa de Jesus, MH. , Watts, DM. and Almeida, P. (2008) 'The snowball effects of students’ questions: Contributions of mini-projects' , IASK International Conference - Teaching and Learning. Aveiro, Portugal. 26 - 28 May. [unpublished].
Neri de Souza, F. , Watts, D. and Moreira, A. (2008) 'E-questioning tutorial' , IASK Conference. University of Aveiro, Portugal. [unpublished].
Watts, M. and Vaz, A. (1996) 'Freire meets Kelly: Using constructs to generate themes in science education' , European Personal Construct Association Conference. University of Reading. European Personal Construct Association.
Watts, M. and Alsop, S. (1996) 'The QUESTCUP Project: A study of pupils’ questions for conceptual understanding' , American Educational Research Association. New York. American Educational Research Association.