Dr Karen Blackmore


Senior Lecturer in Science Education and UW Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow

Primary Education

Contact Details

email: k.blackmore@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 85 5395

Karen has always found science fascinating; one of her earliest memories is of watching rain drops hitting a window pane. What determined which one reached the bottom of the window pane first? Was it the size of the rain drop or where it landed? This initial childhood curiosity fuelled a lifetime interest in science.

Karen pursued her scientific education in the beautiful city of Bath, answering slightly more complex scientific problems but still with the same level of fascination. She then forged a career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Senior Research Scientist. One of the most fulfilling aspects of this role was acting as a mentor to Masters students. Years later this prompted her to cross-train in the education sector as a secondary science teacher. A decade and a half later, working in school as a Science Teacher Training Mentor, led her to reflect what is more important? the acquisition of science knowledge itself or the processes by which that is achieved?.

As a Learning and Teaching Fellow and Science Mentor at the University of Worcester , Karen hopes to meld her passion for science with a deep reaching interest in how people learn. She teaches on the undergraduate BA QTS and the PGCE initial teacher training courses, as well as supervising and teaching Masters, Ed.D and Ph.D. students. Her philosophy on teaching and learning is best described by this YouTube video clip, where she asks her students to reflect on the metaphor of an osprey seeking its prey and understanding knowledge acquisition and assessment.



  • PGCE, Teaching and Learning in HE. University of Worcester
  • OCR Teaching Certificate, Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia), South Worcestershire College
  • PGCE, Secondary Combined Science, University of Worcester
  • PhD, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath
  • BSc Hons, Biochemistry, University of Bath

Teaching & Research

  • Technology enhanced science specific pedagogy.
  • Identification and formulation of strategies to raise the profile of STEM subjects in schools and colleges.
  • The role of positive role models for science based careers in schools.
  • The impact of community projects upon public perception and attitudes to science.
  • Science specific pedagogy for primary ITE students.
  • The co-construction of professional identity by emergent educational researchers.

PhD Project Ideas:

Professional Bodies

  • Member of the Consortium for Research Excellence in Teaching (CREST) subject forum
  • Member of the Post 92 Universities Research Forum
  • Member of the Biochemical Society.
  • Member of the Association for Science Education.
  • Member of the University of Bath Alumni Society.
  • STEM Ambassador.
  • Academic Lead for the Students as Academic Partners scheme (SAP)
  • Member of the Worcester Genome Project Steering Group


Invited speaker presentations

“The use of m-technologies to facilitate social learning in primary science.” (2018) International Technology, Education and Development Conference Barcelona. Speaker & Session Chair.

“Teaching Evolution in Rural Primary Schools” (2017) in collaboration with University of Kent. BERA Annual Conference, University of Sussex.

“Using the HIPSTER model as a tool for curriculum co-design in HE.” (2017) Change Agents Conference, University of Exeter, Invited workshop presenter.

“To what extent can tablet computers (iPads) be used to support the acquisition of investigative skills in primary science? (2015) International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia, Spain. Speaker and Session Chair.

“Teaching Primary Evolution and inheritance” (2015). ASE annual conference invited workshop presenter. University of Nottingham.

“Hands on, minds on” – encouraging conceptual change in trainee teacher populations (2013) Perspectives in Science Education. Florence, Italy. Opening Speaker and Session Chair.

 “Second career researchers’ co-construction of professional identity.” (2012) Post ’92 University Research Forum working group leader. Birmingham City University.

 “Primary Initial Teacher training- improving confidence in scaffolding “tricky science concepts” – a learning journey model”. (2011) CREST Guild HE London.

“Science clubs and beyond” ASE annual conference workshop presenter (2011). University of Reading “WOW” factors in Science lessons.


As a Science Educator

Blackmore, K. & Kington, A. (2020) Developing primary science and student teachers according to an observe, process, teach, cycle. Association for the Study of Primary Education Bulletin Issue 16.

Blackmore, K. (2020) An exploration into Inquiry Based Science Education and mobile technology use by Key Stage Two pupils. Journal of Science Teacher Education (under revision).

Blackmore, K. (2019) Asking the right questions: An exploration into the introduction of co-coaching within initial teacher science education. International Journal of Coaching and Mentoring in Education Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 163-181.

Blackmore, K. (2019) Enabling Primary Science Inquiry: The role of Mobile Technologies to support peer learning. In Social and Learning Relationships in the Primary School, Edited by Alison Kington Blackmore, K. and Bloomsbury Academic monograph. (to be published Autumn 2020).

Blackmore, K. and Hoskyns-Staples, L. (2019) Collaborative Problem-Solving in Primary Mathematics: Developing shape and spatial awareness. In Social and Learning Relationships in the Primary School, Edited by Alison Kington and Blackmore, K. Bloomsbury Academic.

Blackmore, K., Ramos, A and Billingsley, B. (2018) “Teaching Evolution in Rural Primary Schools” research report produced for the Wellcome Trust.

Blackmore, K. (2017) Trainee teachers’ experience of primary science teaching and the perceived impact on developing professional identity. European Journal of Teacher Education 41:4, 529-548.

Blackmore, K. (2016) The use of creative, contextualised, subject specific teaching approaches within primary teacher education. In Student Teachers Learning Through Inquiry: International Perspectives Edited by:  Pete Boyd and Agnieszka Szplit The Jan Kochanowski University, Krakow, Poland pp. 127-146.

Blackmore, K., Willkie, O. and Manders, D. (2015) To what extent can tablet computers (iPads) be used to support the acquisition of investigative skills in primary science? INTED pp. 2790-2797.

Blackmore, K. and Howard, C. (2015) A Hard Nut to Crack - Improving Primary Trainee Teacher Confidence in Teaching Physical Processes Topics. Science Teacher Education, 73. pp. 20-30.

Blackmore, K. (2013) Improving Confidence in Scaffolding “Tricky Science Concepts” A Practical Learning Journey Model. New Perspectives in Science Education. Libreriauniversitaria.it, 2, pp. 8-14.

As a Scientist

  1. Dodds, Blackmore, K., A. Littlewood, M. Gowen. (1994) Expression of mRNA for IL-1b, IL-6 and TGFb 1 in developing human bone and cartilage. Histochemical Cytochemical 42(6) pp.735–744.
  2. Dodds, Blackmore, K., A. Littlewood, M. Gowen. (1993) A method for the localization of cytokine mRNA expression in adult human bone, by in situ hybridization Bone, 14(3) pp.30-57.

Blackmore, K., R. Dodds, A. Littlewood, M. Gowen. (1993). Expression of osteopontin RNA by osteoclasts and osteoblasts, in modelling adult human bone. Journal of Cell Science 104(4) pp.1013-20. 

Blackmore, K. & M. Gowen (1991) The expression of Il-1b and TGFb in human osteoblast-like cells. Cytokine 1: pp. 57-63.

Blackmore, K., J. Russell, A. Littlewood, and M. Gowen (1991).  Transcriptional regulation of TGFb and IL-1b in human osteoblast-like cells in vitro. Bone 12: 4 294-307.

External Collaborative Research Projects

Billingsley, B. Galamba, A., Ramos, A. and Blackmore, K. “Teaching Evolution in Rural Primary Schools” (2017) funded by the Wellcome Trust (£19,983)

Blackmore, K., Barnett, A. and Cooke, V. “An exploration of control and mobile technologies within primary science.” Mercian Trust (2016) (unfunded).