How can learner’s own questions be used as a basis for inquiry-based teaching?

After qualifying as a teacher at Doncaster College of Education, Mike Watts, 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.

Image courtesy of the interviewee

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