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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School
(023) 8059 4665

Dr Jenny Byrne BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCE

Associate Professor in Education

Dr Jenny Byrne's photo

I am an associate professor in education and I joined the University in 2000. Since then I have taught science on, and led both primary and secondary science PGCE courses. Currently my teaching is focused on masters and research students.  My research interests include children’s affective and cognitive development and their impact on learning, socio-scientific issues, health education, the connections between science and health education including scientific and health literacy, primary science enquiry, and outdoor learning/ non-formal learning environments. I also have a research interest in biographical studies. I have undertaken postgraduate teaching and several research projects in this area. 

Recent funded projects include the state of health education in initial teacher education, the impact of heath training on teachers as health promoters, and developing primary science enquiry. 


Research interests

  1. Biology education ( including SSIs , microbiology, outdoor education/ informal learning)
  2. Health education ( including mental health and wellbeing, health education in ITE)
  3. Primary education ( including children’s cognitive and affective development; development of scientific enquiry )
  4. Biography (including narrative enquiry, identity and the affective domain of the self)

Doctoral research student projects to completion:

  • Manifestations of Resilience: An autobiographical analysis of a ‘dyslexic’
  • Aristotle’s Daughters: an intergenerational biographical account of women’s experience of science and in particular physics education from three different families.
  • The professional identities of teachers and lectures in higher education.
  • A Biographical Study of the Experiences of Secondary School Pupils (11-18) in the Zeitgeist of Performativity and Accountability.
  • A case study of one European Nurse Education network and its impact on the scholarly activity of the participants involved.
  • The impact that a gallery-led Arts Award programme has on young people who have offended: a biographical study.
  • Health risk behaviour amongst university students in Saudi Arabia.
  • Sectarianism and separation in Northern Ireland: a perspective-based evaluation on the contribution of youth work.
  • Exploring supportive communication processes with autistic adults.
  • English Higher Education Policy: Critical persons, academic freedom and institutional autonomy.
  • Studying the experiential micro-processes of mindfulness using phenomenological interview methods.

Current doctoral research student projects:

  • A critical exploration of the processes that occur during the weekly Interprofessional Reflective Practice Meetings within a secure Forensic Adolescent Mental Health setting: A constructivist perspective.
  • Anxiety as a block to academic achievement in school science and the development of   effective coping strategies.
  • What constitutes exemplary practice in promoting pupils’ mental health and wellbeing within English primary schools?

Funded research projects:

  • The Teacher Training Agency: To what extent do outcomes of specific admissions procedures act to ensure the admission of quality trainees?
  • University of Southampton, Adventures Award: Redesigning the curriculum: case-studies of secondary schools adopting an inter-disciplinary approach to teaching and learning
  • National Institute for Health Research: Factors facilitating and constraining the delivery of effective teacher training to promote health and well-being in schools – a survey of practice, systematic review and economic analysis.
  • European Union FP7: Pri-SCi-Net: Networking Primary Science Educators on as a means to provide training and professional development in inquiry based teaching
  • The Leverhulme Trust: A longitudinal study to explore the impact of pre-service teacher health training on early career teachers’ roles as health promoters.
  • Southampton City Council in conjunction with Big Lottery: A Qualitative Evaluation of Stage II of the HeadStart Project.

Research group

Mathematics and Science Education (MaSE) Research Centre

Affiliate research groups

Biography and Education Special Interest Group, Mathematics, Science and Health Education Research Centre

Research project(s)

Making informed decisions about sustainability (MIDAS) - Dormant

Implementing competency-based curricula at KS3: a case-study of practice in four schools



The Pri-Sci-Net project aims to support and coordinate inquiry-based teaching methods in primary science using networking as a model of professional development for teachers across Europe.

Doctorate of Education (EdD)
MA (Ed) Institutional Management and Leadership for professional development MA (Ed)
MA (Ed) Dissertation through Flexible Study
Primary PGCE
Secondary PGCE

PhD Students

Stephen Adu Gyamfi: The use of ICT on teacher training programmes in Ghana

Abdulhamid Alarfaj: Programmes for gifted and talented students in primary science in Saudi Arabia

Afsaneh Dadgostar: Being a mature student on a Primary PGCE course - emotional, social and academic issues

Tekeste Hagos: Networking within a local cluster of schools as a mechanism for the CPD of science teachers

Farai Makoni: An exploration of how interprofessional education impacts on collaborative team work in health and social care

Amanda Norman: The effects of baby signing on communication, carers, parents and their babies

Julian Pearce: A biographical study considering identity in chronic pain: the impact of chronic pain on identity

Christopher Wood: Learning styles of secondary PGCE trainees

Dr Jenny Byrne
Southampton Education School University of Southampton Building 32 Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 32/2013

Facsimile: (023) 8059 3556

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