Dr Keith Postlethwaite
Science education (physics)


Teaching interests

  • I  teach students preparing to enter the teaching profession, beginning and experienced teachers, and students working towards research degrees.
  • Through the Peninsula Teaching School Partnership, I teach teachers working for masters degrees.  I support staff in the Jurassic Coast Alliance through a Research Action Partnership.  
  • I have been Deputy Head of School, acting Director of Research and acting Head of Teacher Education.
  • I am Programme Link Manager for The Learning Institute (South West) ITT programme which is validated by the University of Exeter through a formal Collaboartive Provision arrangement.
  • I chair the Trust Board for South Dartmoor Leading Practice Trust.

Research experience

  • Teacher learning: I have conducted and coordinated projects on new approaches to ITE, on teacher learning during induction, and on the improvement of teaching through action research with experienced teachers.  I was Principal Investigator on the Leverhulme Trust 
    project: The thinking and practice of beginning science and mathematics teachers
  • I was co-director of the successful ESRC TLRP project ‘Transforming learning cultures in FE‘  and co-investigator on an EU funded project ‘Science Education for Diversity‘
  • Learning in medicine and medical education: I have collaborated with Bristol Medical Simulation Centre, and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, on the use of simulators in the training of anaesthetists and medical students, with Plymouth University School of Medicine & Dentistry on the revalidation of doctors, and with Exeter University Medical School on junior doctor decision making. I am currently co-supervising a project on the use of science by medical students and early career doctors.
  • Methodology: I have experience of action research, and of statistical methods.  More recently I have drawn these together as a developing interest in mixed methodologies and mixed methods.  I recently published a paper on the relationship between qualitative case study and quantitative survey methods and gave an address at an international conference on mixed methodologies.
  • Research Consultancy:  I was consultant to a Comenius Project on teachers‘ learning in a virtual community – working with science teachers from Spain, Denmark, Holland, Norway and UK
  • Since my arrival in Exeter 31 of my students have been awarded their doctorates.


1970 BA, MA (Cambridge,) Natural Sciences
1971 PGCE (Cambridge)
1984 DPhil (Oxford) Teacher-based identification of pupils with high potential in physics and English. Supervisors: Drs J M Argyle & J Jaspars Dept of Experimental Psychology Oxford


Research group links

Contact details

Internal tel4840
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724840
AddressNorth Cloisters
University of Exeter
St Luke's Campus
Heavitree Road

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