Dr John Kirkman

John Kirkman

School of Education
Lecturer in Science Education
Director of secondary ITE

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

John taught Science and Physics in secondary schools for fourteen years, including a role as Head of Science.  For three years, he worked part time at the University of Warwick on the Science PGCE course and part-time in school.  He joined the University of Birmingham in 2007 as Lecturer in Science Education with a focus on Physics initial teacher education.


  • PhD
  • MA
  • PGCE
  • BEng
  • Diploma in Psychology (Conversion for Postgraduates).


John is programme leader for the Post Graduate Diplomas in Science: Physics (QTS) and Physics with Mathematics (QTS).  His administrative responsibilities are those normally associated with the role of PGDipEd Tutor.  John is also leads on the Physics Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.  He is lead tutor for the MA module Education Observation, Evaluation and Supervision.

Postgraduate supervision

MA in Teaching Studies


  • Nature of Science
  • Scientific literacy
  • Initial teacher training
  • Secondary School Science curriculum
  • Evaluation of news reports of science


Kirkman, J.R. (2014) Trainee teachers’ understandings of news stories about science: beyond ideas about uncertainty. PhD thesis. University of Birmingham. 

Kirkman, J.R. (2012) "Decisions about likelihood of veracity of news reports of science: The contribution of advanced knowledge of science." Paper presented at Researchers sharing with researchers. National Science Learning Centre, University of York, York. 2-4 July 2012.

Kirkman, J.R. (2011) “Pre-service teachers’ use of heuristics to evaluate scientific claims in Web-based news stories.” Paper presented at European Science Education Research Association Biannual Conference. Lyon, France. 5-9 September 2011.

Kirkman, J.R. (2010) "Trainee teachers’ evaluations of newspaper reports of scientific research: Inferences made with reference to scientific methodologies." ESERA PhD Summer School. Udine, Italy.  25-30July 2010.

Kirkman, J.R. (2010) Reading between the lines or reading ‘off the wall’ - interpreting media reports of science and their plausibility. Papers from the 9th Student Conference.  University of Birmingham. 5 July 2010.

Kirkman, J.R. (2009) 8 out of 10 cats prefer Whiskas: Making judgments about ‘scientific’ knowledge claims. Papers from the 8th Student Conference.  University of Birmingham. 4 July 2009.