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Pernilla Nilsson

Professor of Science Education at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences. Appointed in April 2013. 

Research on teaching and learning in Science Education

Pernilla has been interested in teaching and learning in Science Education since 2003. Her research involves pre-school, school and teacher education and her studies have involved student teachers, pupils and teachers. A central concept in her research is PCK, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and how this knowledge of teaching is developed and enhanced in teacher education.

Practical experience and reflection is emphasised in several of her studies as a way to identify and develop both teachers' and student teachers' PCK.
In her thesis "Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn – Primary science student teachers' complex journey from learners to teachers" (2008), she studied student teachers' development of both subject matter knowledge and PCK in different teaching situations.

After completing her thesis, Pernilla Nilsson has initiated and participated in several national, as well as international, research collaborations focusing on teachers' learning and development within natural sciences. Today, Pernilla has a prominent role, both nationally and internationally, within the field of Science Education, in particular in relation to PCK.

Issues related to assessment

In recent years Pernilla Nilsson has, in her role as a teacher and researcher, become interested in issues related to assessment, particularly formative assessment and formative interaction. As part of her research, she has worked with questions on how teachers' PCK can be captured and described. In 2009, she initiated a research project that brought together the area of research regarding formative assessment with the area of research on PCK: a relatively new area where previous research had been limited. Pernilla has also worked with a learning study project where she monitored three high school science teachers for three years.

In spring 2011, Pernilla Nilsson was commissioned by the Swedish National Agency for Education to write an overview of national and international research on Science Education, a book that was distributed to every school in the country.

– Through this assignment, I have made a survey of national and international research in various areas relevant to teaching and learning science. I am happy to see that it seems to have had a strong impact on teachers' actual school practice, says Pernilla.

Pernilla conducts her research within the research environment Center for Teaching, Culture and Society (CLKS) within the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences at Halmstad University.

Updated 2018-02-26