Fatehi Ahmed

Fatehi Ahmed

Research Topic

Issues of knowledge transfer: developing schemata to facilitate mimicking the cognitive search patterns of experts to improve knowledge transfer at unfamiliar context.

Research Summary

Fatehi spent over ten years of teaching Biology to students aged 11-18 years old, observing that many students struggle more with application and data analysis questions.

This is evident across all three Key Stages (3-5) and was not surprising as they are both Higher Order Thinking Skills as outlined by Bloom’s Taxonomy. Since two-thirds of questions in each examination paper (at GCSE and A-level) are designed to assess the students’ ability to transfer their knowledge and skills to unfamiliar context, teachers employ various methods to facilitate improvement to the students’ examination technique through such activities as scaffolding, modelling answers and working through past examination questions and mark schemes.

Fatehi's research interests are oriented towards understanding the cognitive functions associated with knowledge transfer and application to unfamiliar context. Not only does this address some of the main issues that students face during their biology examination, it goes beyond that to encompass any situation in which a person is expected to use their existing knowledge structures (schemas/schemata) to solve a problem in unfamiliar context. Specifically, he is interested in developing new or existing models/protocols to facilitate more rapid cognitive search patterns in novices that are reminiscent of those evident in experts. 

Research Interests

  • Curriculum Development
  • Learning & Teaching
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Applied Psychology
  • Teacher Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Science Education

Research Supervisors

 Dr Donna Dawkins and Dr Sandy Wilkinson


  • M.Ed. Teaching Studies (UoB)
  • P.G.C.E. Science: Biology (UoB)
  • B.Sc. Human Biology (UoB)


After a decade-long teaching career during which Fatehi taught Science/Biology to pupils in years 5 - 13, trained teachers on the PGCE and PGDipEd programmes, led numerous CPD workshops, and held various posts; he finds his interests shifting more towards academia.

He is now looking to understand how the cognitive knowledge structures (schemes/schemata) can be developed to facilitate quicker knowledge transfer to unfamiliar context and to this end he has joined UoB as a Post Graduate Researcher (PGR) to complete his Doctorate (PhD). His goal is to use current academic theories to inform and influence the CPD and teaching practice in school and beyond (starting with his own).

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Head of Biology Department – teach Science/Biology to students in years 7-13 at secondary school.
  • Head of Enrichment Studies (Sixth Form) – helping to develop students’ employability and life-long skills through various courses - part of the Sixth Form enrichment programme.
  • Teacher training as part of the PGDipEd programme (QTS).
  • Teacher training as part of the school’s ‘Teaching & Learning Group’.

Professional Memberships

  • member of the Chartered College for Teaching (CCT)
  • member of the National Governance Association (NGA)
  • member of the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) which replaced the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), which was created to replace the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE)
  • member of the National Education Union 


Email: fxa648@student.bham.ac.uk

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Fatehi_Ahmed

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/fatehi-ahmed-5455ba1b9