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Prof Vanessa Kind

Honorary Professor


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Honorary Professor in the School of Education  
Member of Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)  


Vanessa studied biochemistry and worked in molecular biology prior to becoming a chemistry teacher. Teaching led to interest in the impact of teacher knowledge on student learning and achievement. Vanessa’s doctorate study investigated longitudinal changes in understanding occurring in post-16 chemistry students, leading to development of novel teaching strategies for specific concepts. Vanessa tested these as head of chemistry (and physics) in a Hull sixth form college, leading to a lectureship in science education at the Institute of Education. After headship of an international school in Norway, she joined Durham in January 2005. Vanessa’s research explores how teachers’ science subject knowledge, beliefs, views about science, self-confidence and attitudes impact on teaching and student learning outcomes. She contributes to international debate surrounding the nature of teacher knowledge and connections between science teacher education policy and practice. Projects include an ESRC-DfiD funded project Transforming Pedagogy of STEM Subjects in Ethiopia; a UK-wide study of practical work in science funded by Gatsby Charitable Foundation; development of chemistry teacher knowledge in South Africa, supported by a British Academy Newton Mobility Grant; and a Wellcome Trust People Award held with Durham Law School on students’ understandings of stem cell research and human cloning via the medium of law. Previous work includes: development of a diagnostic test of chemistry teachers’ subject knowledge for the Royal Society of Chemistry; and interdisciplinary projects in medieval history and archaeology. Vanessa has contributed to international doctoral training schools in Italy, Oslo, Austria and South Africa. She has directed practitioner research for secondary and primary teachers’ small-scale projects linked to school improvement.

Vanessa chaired the Royal Society of Chemistry Chemical Education Research Group from 2008 - 2015. She was appointed Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2008 and served on the Society’s Education Division Council from 2012 – 2015. She was an Honorary Associate Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education from 2009 – 2013. Vanessa is currently an Associate Editor of Research in Science Education and an Editorial Board member for International Journal of Science Education and School Science Review. Vanessa was appointed Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2013.

Vanessa is currently Deputy Head of Faculty in Social Sciences and Health, holding the Postgraduate portfolio. She was Director, Science Learning Centre North East from 2011 – 2013 delivering continuing professional development for primary, secondary and post-16 science teachers and technicians.

Vanessa supervises PhD and EdD students in science, chemistry education, teacher knowledge and practice.

Completed Supervisions

A case study exploring developments in non-traditional potential undergraduates’ understandings of chemical language.

 Mapping the development of professional praxis of Higher Education work-based learners via a case-study approach.


Students' attitudes and career expectations in science: a cross-age case study of a specialist science school.

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Vanessa would be interested in supervising prospective doctoral students in Teacher education; Science education - secondary and post 16; Misconceptions; Conceptual change; Pedagogical content knowledge and Teacher development.

Research interests

  • Science teacher knowledge, beliefs, pedagogical strategies
  • Science education including practical work and aspects of assessment and the nature of science
  • Chemical education including misconceptions, pedagogical practices and conceptual change

Research Projects

  • Developing a Diagnostic Chemical Knowledge Test
  • Human Cloning and Stem Cell Research through the Medium of Law
  • Improving the breadth of science practical work undertaken in schools
  • Monitoring Practical Science in Schools and Colleges
  • Research Capacity Building and Development of Teacher Knowledge Bases in Science Education
  • Transforming the pedagogy in STEM subjects

Awarded Grants

  • 2015: Research Capacity Building and Development of Teacher Knowledge Bases in Science Education(£9972.00 from The British Academy)
  • 2015: Transforming the Pedagogy of STEM Subjects(£382073.40 from ESRC)
  • 2014: 2014-2017 Human Cloning and Stem Cell Research Through the Medium of Law (Wellcome Trust, £29,961). PI: Pattinson CIs: Douglas & Kind.
  • 2014: Gatsby Monitoring Practical Science(£175998.00 from Gatsby Charitable Foundation)
  • 2014: Gatsby Monitoring Practical Science(£44169.00 from Gatsby Charitable Foundation)
  • 2011: Developing a Diagnostic Chemical Knowledge Test(£22000.00 from Royal Society of Chemistry)

Esteem Indicators

  • 2018: Invited Webinar: Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemical Education Research Group
  • 2018: Keynote Presentation: Hell Symposium on Science Education, Hell, Norway
  • 2018: Keynote Presentation: International Science Education Conference, Ministry of Education, Singapore
  • 2017: Keynote Presentation: Singapore International Science Teacher Conference
  • 2016: Keynote Presentation: Dublin International Conference on Education
  • 2016: Keynote Presentation: South African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Conference, Pretoria
  • 2016: Visiting Professor: Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong
  • 2015: Invited Seminar: Faculty of Education, University of Georgia
  • 2015: Keynote Presentation: Variety in Chemistry Conference, University of Limerick
  • 2015: Keynote Presentation: London International Conference on Education
  • 2014: Keynote Presentation: University of Bogotá, Colombia Pedagogical Content Knowledge Symposium
  • 2013: Keynote Presentation: Global Chinese Conference on Science Education, Guangzhou
  • 2013: Keynote Presentation: East-Asian Association for Science Education Conference, Institute of Education, Hong Kong
  • 2011: Keynote Presentation: Eurovariety in Chemistry Conference, University of Bremen
  • 2009: Honorary Associate Professor: Institute of Education, Hong Kong, to 2013
  • 2008: Royal Society of Chemistry: Chair, Chemistry Education Research Group, to 2015
  • 0000: Associate Editor: Research in Science Education
  • 0000: Fellow: Royal Society of Arts
  • 0000: Fellow: Royal Society of Biology
  • 0000: Fellow: Royal Society of Chemistry, Chartered Chemist
  • 0000: Large Grants Reviewer: Templeton World Charitable Foundation

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Education: I have expertise in secondary science education and teacher education.


Authored book

  • Kind, V. & Kind, P. (2008). Teaching Secondary How Science Works. London: Hodder Murray for ASE.
  • Kind, V. & Taber, K. (2005). Science: Teaching School subjects 11-19. London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Kind, V. (2004). Contemporary Chemistry for Schools and Colleges. London: Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Kind, V. (2004). Mas alla de las apariencias: Ideas previas de lost estudiantes sobre conceptos basicos de quimica. Mexico City: Santillana.
  • Barker, V. (2002). Building Success in GCSE Science: Chemistry. Dunstable: Folens.

Chapter in book

  • Kind, V. (2015). On the beauty of knowing then not knowing: Pinning down the elusive qualities of PCK. In Re-examining Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Science Education. Berry, A., Friedrichsen, P. & Loughran, J. New York, NY Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 178-196.
  • Kind, V. (2014). Science teachers’ content knowledge. In Exploring Mathematics and Science teachers’ Knowledge: Windows into teacher thinking. Venkat, H., Rollnick, M., Loughran, J. & Askew, M. London New York: Routledge. 15-28.
  • Kind, V. (2012). Extent, rates and energetics of chemical change. In Teaching Secondary Chemistry. Taber, K. Hatfield: ASE. 137-182.
  • Kind, V. (2012). Organic chemistry and the chemistry of natural products. In Teaching Secondary Chemistry. Taber, K. Hatfield: ASE. 303-342.
  • Kind, V. (2012). Science teachers' knowledge of science. In ASE Handbook of Science Education Research. Oversby, J. ASE: Hatfield. 58-68.
  • Kind, V. (2010). United Kingdom. In Teaching Chemistry around the World. Risch, B. (ed) Münster: Waxmann. 375-390.
  • Kind, V. (2007). Context-based science: a 'gift horse' for the talented? In Science Education for Gifted Learners. Taber, K.S. Routledge. 142-158.
  • Barker, Vanessa (2000). Lifelong learning in science. In Issues in Science Teaching. Sears, J. & Sorensen, P. London and New York: Routledge/Falmer. 50-60.

Conference Paper

  • Kind, V. (2015), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Connections between Pre-service Science Teachers’ Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Content Knowledge, NARST 2015 Annual International Conference. Chicago, IL.
  • Kind, V (2014), Towards an Evidence-Based Model of Pre-service Science Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge, University of Bogota, Columbia, University of Bogota.
  • Kind, V (2013), Pedagogical content knowledge as a tool for developing high quality science teachers: evidence from research, Keynote address, East-Asian Association of Science Education and 2nd Global Conference on Science Education. Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
  • Kind, V (2013), Pre-service science teachers’ initial pedagogical content and subject matter knowledge for teaching aspects of science, European Science Education Research Association. Nicosia, Cyprus Nicosia.
  • Kind, V (2012), Pre-service science teachers’ orientations toward teaching: Evidence for Constancy and Change across subject matter areas, National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Indianapolis, USA, Indianapolis IN.
  • Kind, V. (2010), Perspectives from research on pedagogical content knowledge: consequences for changes in science teacher education?, in Eilks, I. & Ralle, B. eds, 20th Symposium on Chemistry and Science Education. University of Bremen, Kluwer Academic Press, University of Bremen.
  • Kind, P.M., Wilson, J., Kind, V. & Hofstein, A. (2010), Peer argumentation in the school laboratory - exploring the effects of task features, National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Philadellphia, USA, Philadelphia PA.
  • Kind, V. & Kind, P.M. (2009), Qualified to teach? How personal and academic characteristics of pre-service science teachers compare with their understandings of basic chemical ideas, European Science Education Research Association. Istanbul, Istanbul.
  • Kind, V. & Wallace, R. (2008), Train, teach; taught? How the content of specific science subject matter knowledge sessions impacts on trainee teachers' classroom practice and children's learning, in Bungum, B., Wallin, A. & Andersson, B. eds, NorDiNa 2: The 9th Nordic Research Symposium on Science Education. Reykjavik, Iceland, Reykjavik, 151-167.
  • Kind, V. (2007), An exploration of trainee science teachers' subject matter knowledge development and its impact on teacher self-confidence, British Education Research Association. London, UK, London.

Conference Proceeding

  • Kind, V. (2007). 'How do you switch it on?' An exploration of the development of trainee science teachers' subject matter knowledge and its impact on teacher self-confidence. BERA/ASE SIG One day conference.

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets and Databases

Journal Article


Supervision students