Ben Looker


Senior Lecturer in Secondary Education: Sciences

Secondary and Post Compulsory Education

Contact Details

tel: 01905 54 2841

Ben studied his for his undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham and went on to complete his PGCE there. Ben has taught in a range of different and contrasting comprehensive schools where he gained a lot of valuable experience, including working as Head of Science and subsequently as an Assistant Headteacher.

It was during his time as Assistant Headteacher, with responsibility for Teaching and Learning and Continued Professional Development, that Ben found his love of training teachers. He set up and facilitated a variety of professional development programmes and is an accredited OLEVI facilitator.

Ben has a particular interest and passion for the impact of effective coaching strategies which can be used to develop teachers capacity and to develop new and aspiring middle and senior leaders. In addition to running the Science PGCE course, Ben also facilitates the Chemistry Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course for post graduates. This course allows prospective trainee science teachers to develop and hone their KS3-5 subject specific knowledge and understanding, enabling them to be effective practitioners.

Ben has developed and runs the Aspiring Leaders enhancement activity for the PGCE at the University of Worcester. This programme is unique to the university and aims to develop trainee teachers who have aspirations of leadership by talking about the roles and characteristics of school leaders and issues currently facing middle and senior leaders.

In addition to his teaching at the University of Worcester, Ben is an active researcher and is currently studying for his Doctorate in Education. Ben's research focuses on effective relationships between teachers and pupils and inclusion.


  • Doctor of Education University of Worcester (currently studying)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education- University of Worcester (2017)
  • PGCE in Secondary Science University of Birmingham (2007)
  • BSc Hons in Biological Sciences University of Birmingham (2006)

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

  • Secondary Science PGCE (all three sciences)    
  • Interest in teaching outside of specialism    
  • Masters dissertation supervision

Research Interests

  • Teacher/pupil relationships    
  • Alienation in secondary school education    
  • Teacher Identity

Professional Bodies

  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry    
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Looker, B, Vickers, J and Kington, A (2021) The Case for a Critical Realist Grounded Theory Research Design. In: Dealing with Grounded Theory : Discussing, Learning, and Practice. Pisa University Press, Pisa, pp. 139-168.

Koller, J., Looker, B and Delorenzo, J (2021) A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Is Tablet Technology the Answer to a Catch-up Curriculum? Science Teacher Education, 89. pp. 15-20.

Looker, B and Kington, A (2020) Developing Teacher-Pupil Relationships in the Classroom: The Influence of Primary Teachers' Career Phase and Experience. In: Social and Learning Relationships in Primary Schools. Bloomsbury Academic, London

Conference Presentations

Does The Use Of Video Recording Lead To An Improvement In Trainee Teachers’ Confidence? Ben Looker and Janinne Delorenzo -  University of Worcester Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, June 2017, Worcester

Fifty Shades Of Science: Experiments To Capture The Imagination Of Pupils. Ben Looker and Janinne Delorenzo – Association of Science Education Annual Conference, January 2017, Reading

Fifty Shades Of Science Revisited: Even More Experiments To Capture The Imagination Of Pupils. Ben Looker and Janinne Delorenzo – Association of Science Education Annual Conference, January 2018, Liverpool

External Roles