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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline


Dr Stephen Day is a Senior Lecturer in Education. Prior to joining the University in May 2012, he was a secondary school biology teacher. Before entering the teaching profession, Stephen worked on a number of biomedical research projects at the University of Glasgow, based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary within the Departments of Cardiac Surgery and Pathological Biochemistry (now Vascular Biology).

Dr Day received his PhD from the University of Strathclyde in 2010, which focused on the development of pupils’ scientific literacy through socio-scientific discussion using co-operative learning.

Stephen is the lead Science tutor for PGDE Science within the School of Education and is also the year one leader for the Professional Doctorate programme.

Stephen is an active member of the educational research community in Scotland where he is currently vice-president of the Scottish Educational Research Association. In addition, he is a member of the British Educational Research Association where he is an active member of the Science Education special interest groups as well as being a member of the Association for Science Education.

My main area of research focuses on quantitative and qualitative research in Science Education.


Current research activities


Dr Day's research interests are as follows;

  • The handling of socio-scientific topics such as global warming, genetic modification, etc. In particular how discussion can be conducted usefully in science lessons;
  • Effectiveness and efficacy of pedagogical approaches in learning and teaching;
  • Science misconceptions;
  • Constructivist approaches to learning and teaching and the ideas which pupils find difficult in the secondary sciences, particularly in biology and chemistry;
  • More humanistic approaches to science teaching and the resistance to it in so many scientific quarters, including the school curriculum;
  • The application of Complex Adaptive Systems theory to education;
  • The development of pre-service primary and secondary teachers’ scientific literacy and professional identity;
  • Concept and skill acquisition and how these are intertwined – the science knowledge of young people and how it develops.
  • Developing criticality in Masters and Doctoral students.


Desired research direction

Over the last year I have been involved in assessing Education and Nursing students Mental Health and Well-Being as they progress through their programmes of study. I am interested in extending this work to other interested Universities in Scotland and more widely across the United Kingdom.

In addition, I am interested in moving my research into developing research informed pedagogical practice in Higher Education. At present, I am working with a PhD student within the School of Engineering and Computing focused upon investigating the implementation of problem-based learning into the undergraduate engineering degree programme.

I am also actively seeking collaborations with the School of Science to focus on how criticality is fostered through engagement with research in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.


Target collaborative companies

Education Scotland

Local Authorities (Learning and Education departments)


Target collaborative organisations

Scottish Educational Research Association

British Educational Research Association

European Educational Research Association

Nordic Educational Research Association

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange


Over the last year I have worked closely with South Ayrshire Council to develop and manage professional learning opportunities for school teachers. This work has focused on the development of a cross section (Primary and Secondary) Numeracy community of practice. The puropse of this work was to support the teaching and learning of numeracy across the curriculum and to up-skill classroom practitioners to equip them with the skills and competences to carry out small scale action research projects focused on providing evidence of effective practice.

I am particularly keen to expand this work further in the area of primary science.

External positions

President Scottish Educational Research Association

Nov 2017Nov 2019

Vice-President , Scottish Educational Research Association

Nov 2015Nov 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Stephen Day is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

science Social Sciences
Blood Platelets Medicine & Life Sciences
teacher Social Sciences
Lipoproteins Medicine & Life Sciences
Hirudins Medicine & Life Sciences
education Social Sciences
student Social Sciences
qualification Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2000 2019

primary education
95 Downloads (Pure)

Reflective practice and student satisfaction: never the twain shall meet?

Pirrie, A. & Day, S., 31 Jul 2019, In : European Educational Research Journal. 18, 4, p. 483-496 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Relevant and faithful under the microscope

Evans, G., Lusher, J. & Day, S., 2 Aug 2019, In : The Accountant.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access


Day, S., Jul 2018, Scottish Education . Bryce, T. G. K., Humes, W. M., Gillies, D. & Kennedy, A. (eds.). 5 ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Day, S. & Killen, A., Jul 2018, Scottish Education. Bryce, T. G. K., Humes, W. M., Gillies, D. & Kennedy, A. (eds.). 5 ed.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Press / Media

Science calls for scepticism

Stephen Day


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Tourism management
Business ethics
Staff development
social capital
term contract

Jane Cook

Person: Academic, Doctor of Philosophy