Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Contact Details

Jim Ryder

Professor of Science Education

I am Director of the Centre for Studies in Science and Mathematics Education (CSSME) and Leader of the Teaching and Learning Academic Group.
I have been Member of the Executive Board (2011-2015) and then Secretary (2015-2017) for the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA).
From 2008-2017 I was Editor of the international research review journal Studies in Science Education.
I have a PhD in condensed matter physics and have taught science/physics in secondary schools in the UK. 

Research Interests

My research examines attempts to develop a school science education that supports people’s engagement with science outside of formal schooling. This includes a focus on teaching and learning about the ‘nature of science’.

I have conducted a number of studies into the development of students' ideas about the nature of science at both secondary school and university level. I have also investigated the experiences of teachers as they engage in teaching/learning about the nature of science. In addition, I have written about the role of understandings about the nature of science when people engage with science-related issues outside of formal education settings.

I am also researching exploring the varying ways in which schools, teachers and students respond to major national curriculum and assessment reform initiatives. This includes examining the impact of reforms on students’ attitudes towards science education and their participation in post-compulsory science courses.

Selected research projects


I teach undergraduate modules focusing on children and education, education policy issues, international perspectives on education, and science education. I also teach sessions related to my research interests within postgraduate MA programmes at Leeds.

PhD Supervision

I supervise doctoral students in the following areas:

  • Education policy
  • The nature of science in science education
  • Science teacher education
  • Teaching/learning physics at secondary and university level

Recently completed PhD supervision

Andy Hind
Vasudha Malhotra
Zennifer Oberio

Key Publications


  • Henriksen E, Dillon J, Ryder J, Understanding student participation and choice in science and technology education (Dordrecht: Springer, 2015)

Journal Articles

  • Lidar M, Lundqvist E, Ryder J, Ostman L, ‘The Transformation of Teaching Habits in Relation to the Introduction of Grading and National Testing in Science Education in Sweden’, Research in Science Education 2017
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/126009/

  • Ryder J, ‘Navigating Tensions: Education Policy and the Science Teacher’, Revista Brasileira de Pesquisa em Educação em Ciências, 17.1 (2017), 1-12
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/116630/

  • Homer M, Ryder J, ‘The Impact of a Science Qualification Emphasising Scientific Literacy on Post-compulsory Science Participation: An analysis using national data’, International Journal of Science Education, 37.9 (2015), 1364-1380
    DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2015.1036151, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/86584/

  • Ryder J, ‘Being professional: accountability and authority in teachers’ responses to science curriculum reform’, Studies in Science Education, 51.1 (2015), 87-120
    DOI: 10.1080/03057267.2014.1001629, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/83555/

  • Ryder J, Banner I, Homer M, ‘Teachers' experiences of science curriculum reform’, School Science Review, 95.352 (2014), 126-130
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/83044/

  • Homer M, Ryder J, Banner I, ‘Measuring determinants of post-compulsory participation in science: a comparative study using national data’, British Educational Research Journal, 40.4 (2014), 610-636
    DOI: 10.1002/berj.3106, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/76190/

  • Homer M, Ryder J, Donnelly J, ‘Sources of differential participation rates in school science: the impact of curriculum reform’, British Educational Research Journal, 39.2 (2013), 248-265
    DOI: 10.1080/01411926.2011.635783, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/85151/

  • Ryder J, Banner I, ‘School teachers' experiences of science curriculum reform’, International Journal of Science Education, 35.3 (2013), 490-514

  • Banner I, Donnelly J, Ryder J, ‘Policy networks and boundary objects: Enacting curriculum reform in the absence of consensus’, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 44.5 (2012), 577-598
    DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2012.699558

  • Ryder J, Banner, I., ‘Multiple aims in the development of a major reform of the national curriculum for science in England’, International Journal of Science Education, 33.5 (2011), 709-725
    DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2010.485282

  • Donnelly J, Ryder J, ‘The pursuit of humanity: Curriculum change in English school science’, History of Education, 40.3 (2011), 291-313

  • Homer M, Ryder J, Donnelly J, ‘The use of national datasets to baseline science education reform: exploring value-added approaches’, International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 34.3 (2011), 309-325
    DOI: 10.1080/1743727X.2011.609544, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/75618/

  • Homer M, Ryder J, Donnelly J, ‘The use of national data sets to baseline science education reform: Exploring value-added approaches’, International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 34.3 (2011), 309-325

  • Banner I, Donnelly J, Homer M, Ryder J, ‘The impact of recent reforms in the key stage 4 science curriculum’, School Science Review, 92.339 (2010), 101-109

  • Guerra-Ramos, T., Ryder J, Leach, J, ‘Ideas about the nature of science in pedagogically relevant contexts: insights from a situated perspective of primary teachers´’, Science Education, 94.2 (2010), 282-307
    DOI: 10.1002/sce.20361


  • Ryder J, ‘The role of education policy in the experience of teaching: A sociocultural perspective’, in Honorary Doctors at the Faculty of Educational Sciences 2011-2017, ed. by Nihlfors E, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis (Uppsala University, 2017), 167-179
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/118681/

  • Ametller J, Ryder J, ‘The impact of science curriculum content on students' subject choices in post-compulsory schooling’, in Understanding student participation and choice in science and technology education, ed. by Henriksen E, Dillon J and Ryder J (Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2015), 103-118
    DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7793-4_7, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/87555/

  • Ryder J, Ulriksen L, Bøe MV, ‘Understanding student participation and choice in science and technology education: The contribution of IRIS’, in Understanding Student Participation and Choice in Science and Technology Education ([n.pub.], 2015), 351-366
    DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7793-4_21, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/87556/

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