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Peter Sorensen

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Pete Sorensen is a Lecturer in Science Education in the School of Education and is a member of the Learning Sciences Research Institute. He teaches on ITE courses, masters in the area of teaching and learning and supervises higher degree students.

Pete researched in attitudes of chemistry students to science education prior to starting his teaching career. He taught science in secondary schools in Oxfordshire and Ghana before moving full time into higher education and becoming leader of the science team and the professional studies course at Canterbury Christ Church University College in 1998. During his time in school he took leadership positions in subject and cross curricular developments and senior management roles with an emphasis on teacher education. He also worked at LEA level as Secretary of the Council of Oxfordshire Teachers Organisation. For part of his time in Ghana he worked as a lecturer in science education at the University of Cape Coast. Pete moved to Nottingham in 2001 and led the flexible PGCE course from January 2002 until September 2006 and took a leadership role in developing partnership with schools from 2006-9. His other roles have included leadership of a number of research projects in teacher education, work with the eChina team on a large HEFCE-funded project involving the development of online tools to support the training of e-tutors and as part of external evaluation teams. He has completed stints as external examiner for several teacher education courses.

Research Summary

His research interests lie mainly within the field of teacher education. Much of his work has involved collaboration across HEIs both nationally and internationally.

Current work has focused on student teachers' developing understanding and teaching of the Nature of Science; collaborative approaches to professional development; use of technology by beginning teachers; the use of digital video in professional development and M level CPD.

Recent Publications

  • SORENSEN, P., 2015. Teaching Strategies and Organising Learning. In: TOPLIS, R., ed., Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School (4th Edition) Routledge.
  • NEWTON, L. and SORENSEN, P, 2015. Making ‘better STEM’ happen: The role of the Mascil project Science Teacher Education. 72, 17-24
  • SORENSEN, P., TWIDLE, J. and CHILDS, A., 2014. Collaborative approaches in Initial Teacher Education: lessons from approaches to developing student teachers’ use of the Internet in science teaching Teacher Development. 18(1), 107-123
  • SORENSEN, P., 2014. Collaboration, dialogue and expansive learning: the use of paired and multiple placements in the school practicum TATE. 44, 128-137

Pete is a member of the Learning Sciences Research Institute. His research supervision areas include:

  • mentoring on ITE programmes
  • collaborative practices and continual professional development (CPD)
  • flexible routes into teaching, including the modular PGCE

Research proposals: please email Pete if you would like to discuss the appropriateness of your research topic.

Past Research

His research interests lie mainly within the field of teacher education. Much of his work has involved collaboration across HEIs both nationally and internationally. One emphasis has been work on the development of collaborative practices in the school practicum, with a particular focus on the use of paired or multiple subject placements. This has included organising and running a collaborative project across seven HEIs (2002-5), organising and chairing symposia at a number of BERA conferences and running two TTA funded projects, one regional and one national. The work has led to invitations to speak at regional and national meetings in this country as part of the dissemination process, including two keynote contributions for the TDA. It has also included invited contributions at other universities. A second focus has involved a longitudinal study of student science teachers' use of the Internet, aspects of which are still continuing. This work has involved collaboration across five HEIs and different facets have been funded through two Escalate grants and one BECTa award. A third focus has been studies of alternative routes into teaching, involving collaboration and writing symposia with colleagues in Canada. A fourth focus has been on the use of digital video, including that embedded in an innovative piece of software (ICE) developed by other colleagues in the School of Education and designed to support the professional development of teachers and has led to invited presentations at other universities. This work was trialled in science masters modules at the university and as part of ITE courses. The work with digital video has been continued to look at applications in initial teacher education, involving presentation and collaboration with US colleagues.

An additional interest has been on the development of elearning materials through involvement with the HEFCE-funded, eChina-UK project, with a particular focus on developing materials to support tutors working on online courses.

Funded Research Projects:

2008-2010 TDA funded project: the use of digital video in teacher education, with Tony Fisher, Lindsey Smethem and the PGCE team

2005-2006 Gatsby Funded Project: Use of digital video in the professional development of science teachers, with Len Newton and Colin Harrison

2005-2006 Escalate funded project: The development of expertise and resources to support mentors in training PGCE secondary science students' use of the Internet within their teaching (with Loughborough, Oxford and Nottingham Trent Universities)

2003-2004 BECTA funded project: Exploring the elements that make an effective web-based lesson (with Loughborough, Oxford and Nottingham Trent Universities).

2003-2004 TTA Funded Project (national): Research into paired practice on a national scale, involving collaboration with Exeter University, University College Worcester, Canterbury Christ Church University College, King's College, London, Birmingham University and Sussex University.

2002-2004 TTA Funded Project (regional): Research into paired placements in Nottingham Partnership Schools.

2001-2003 Escalate Funded Project: the use of web-based materials to support teaching by PGCE secondary students (with Oxford, Canterbury Christ Church, Nottingham Trent, Loughborough).

  • SORENSEN, P., 2015. Teaching Strategies and Organising Learning. In: TOPLIS, R., ed., Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School (4th Edition) Routledge.
  • NEWTON, L. and SORENSEN, P, 2015. Making ‘better STEM’ happen: The role of the Mascil project Science Teacher Education. 72, 17-24
  • SORENSEN, P., TWIDLE, J. and CHILDS, A., 2014. Collaborative approaches in Initial Teacher Education: lessons from approaches to developing student teachers’ use of the Internet in science teaching Teacher Development. 18(1), 107-123
  • SORENSEN, P., 2014. Collaboration, dialogue and expansive learning: the use of paired and multiple placements in the school practicum TATE. 44, 128-137
  • BAILEY, M. and SORENSEN, P., 2013. Reclaiming the ground of master’s education for teachers: lessons to be learned from a case study of the East Midlands Masters in Teaching and Learning Journal of Education for Teaching: international research and pedagogy. 39(1), 39-59
  • SORENSEN, P., 2012. Mentoring and coaching for school teachers’ ITE and induction. In: FLETCHER, S. and MULLEN, C., eds., SAGE Handbook of Mentoring and Coaching in Education SAGE.
  • SORENSEN, P., NEWTON, L. and MCCARTHY, S., 2012. Developing a Science Teacher Education Course that Supports Student Teachers’ Thinking and Teaching about the Nature of Science. Research in Science and Technological Education. 30(1), 29-47
  • MEYER, L.H., SLEETER, C.E., ZEICHNER, K., PARK, H.-S., HOBAN, G. and SORENSEN, P., 2011. An international survey of higher education students’ perceptions of world-mindedness and global citizenship. In: LINDSAY, B. and BLANCHETT, W.J., eds., Universities and global diversity: preparing educators for tomorrow Routledge.
  • CHILDS, A., SORENSEN, P. and TWIDLE, J., 2011. Using the Internet in science teaching?: issues and challenges for initial teacher education Technology, Pedagogy and Education. 20(2), 143-160
  • SORENSEN, P., 2011. Mentoring and coaching for school teachers’ ITE and induction In: British Educational Research Association (BERA).
  • SORENSEN, P and NEWTON, L. AND MCCARTHY, S., 2010. The Impact of an Initial Teacher Education Course in England on Student Teachers’ Thinking about the Nature of Science: a longitudinal study. In: Association for Science Education (ASE). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P and SMETHEM, L. AND FISHER, T., 2010. The Use of Video in Initial Teacher Education: a Case Study of Processes and Practices In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • NEWTON, L.R. AND SORENSEN, P., 2010. Science teacher development through constructive engagement with digital video: some experiences from the field In: International Seminar, National Science Learning Centre York.
  • SORENSEN, P., 2010. Teaching Strategies and Organising Learning. In: FROST, J., ed., Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School RoutledgeFalmer.
  • NEWTON, L. AND SORENSEN, P., 2010. Research into practice: using digital video to foster pre-service science teachers’ collaborative reflection In: National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P. AND NEWTON, L., 2010. Teaching the Nature of Science: Supporting Student Teachers’ Development Through the Use of Digital Video In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • MITCHELL, N., MARSH, B., HOBSON, A.J. and SORENSEN, P., 2010. 'Bringing theory to life': findings from an evaluation of the use of interactive video within an initial teacher preparation programme Teacher Development: an international journal of teachers' professional development. 14(1), 15-27
  • SORENSEN, P.AND NEWTON, L., 2009. The Professional Development of Beginning Teachers Through Constructive Engagement With Digital Video In: American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA). (In Press.)
  • BAILEY, M. AND SORENSEN, P., 2009. Collaborative practices in the support of preservice teachers on alternate routes to certification in England In: American Educational Research Association (AERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P and MCCARTHY, S. AND NEWTON, L., 2009. Preparing Student Teachers for Teaching the Nature of Science In: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). (In Press.)
  • MEYER, L. H, SLEETER C. E, ZEICHNER, K, PARK, H.-S and HOBAN, G. AND SORENSEN. P., 2009. An International Effort to Develop a Survey to Assess Prospective Teachers’ World Mindedness and Global Citizenship In: American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P. AND NEWTON, L., 2008. The professional development of beginning teachers through constructive engagement with digital video In: British Educational Research Association (BERA)..
  • SORENSEN, P., 2008. Feedback and Assessment Malaysian Journal of Distance Education. 10(2), 78-98
  • SORENSEN, P, NEWTON, L and MCCARTHY, S. AND YOUENS, B., 2008. The Impact of an Initial Teacher Education Course in England on Student Teachers’ Thinking about the Nature of Science. In: British Educational Research Association (BERA)..
  • MITCHELL, N, MARSH, B and HOBSON, A. AND SORENSEN, P., 2008. ‘Bringing Theory to Life?’ Findings from the evaluation of the University of Sussex In-School Teacher Education Programme (INSTEP). In: British Educational Research Association (BERA)..
  • NEWTON, L. AND SORENSEN, P., 2008. Interactive Classroom Explorer in Science Teachers’ Professional Development Nottingham University: Jubilee Press.
  • MCCARTHY, S and SORENSEN, P. AND NEWTON, L., 2008. Secondary science student teachers’ understanding of the nature of science: their starting point In: British Educational Research Association (BERA)..
  • SHMIDT, C.A, GAGNE, A, SORENSEN, P, YOUENS, B, MANDZUK, D and WALSH, S. AND BRIGHAM, S., 2008. Integrating Immigrant teachers in K-12 Schools: Who is Responsible and How Can Induction Be Facilitated? In: Annual Meeting of The American Educational Research Association (AERA).
  • SORENSEN, P., TWIDLE, J., CHILDS, A. and GODWIN, J., 2007. The use of the Internet in science teaching: a longitudinal study of developments in use by student teachers in England International Journal of Science Education. 29(13), 1605-1627
  • CHILDS, A., TWIDLE, J., SORENSEN, P.D. and GODWIN, J., 2007. Trainee teachers' use of the Internet - opportunities and challenges for initial teacher education Research in Science & Technological Education. 25(1), 77-97
  • SORENSEN, P, NEWTON, L. R and MCCARTHY, S. AND YOUENS, B., 2007. Student Teachers’ Understanding of the Nature of Science: the Impact of an Initial Teacher Education Course in England on Thinking and Practice. In: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P and NEWTON, L. AND HARRISON, C., 2007. Developing Scientific IDEAS Through Digital Video In: ASE/BERA Sig Joint Research Conference Annual Meeting of Association of Science Education (ASE).. (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P, NEWTON, L. R and MCCARTHY, S. AND YOUENS, B., 2007. Irreconcilable pedagogies in science education? In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • NEWTON, L. R. AND SORENSEN, P., 2007. Professional Development in Argumentation through Technology-Mediated Discussion In: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P AND NEWTON, L.. R., 2007. The Professional Development of Teachers Through Interaction with Digital Video. In: Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). (In Press.)
  • MITCHELL, N and HOBSON, A.J. AND SORENSEN, P., 2007. External Evaluation of the University of Sussex In-School Teacher Education Programme: Final Report to Gatsby Technical Education Projects
  • SORENSEN, P., 2007. Supporting student teachers’ learning through peer collaboration in the school practicum In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • TWIDLE, J, SORENSEN, P and CHILDS, A. AND GODWIN, J., 2007. Using the Internet in Science Teaching: tutoring, mentoring, supporting and learning from student teachers In: ASE/BERA Sig Joint Research Conference Annual Meeting of Association of Science Education (ASE). (In Press.)
  • YOUENS, B and SORENSEN, P AND HALL, C., 2007. The impact of policies and practices on the lives of internationally educated and trained teachers in England. In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • CHILDS, A and SORENSEN, P. AND TWIDLE, J., 2007. What’s special about the Internet in science teaching? Issues and Challenges for Initial Teacher Education. In: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). (In Press.)
  • TWIDLE, J., SORENSEN, P., CHILDS, A., GODWIN, J. and DUSSART, M., 2006. Issues, challenges and needs of student science teachers in using the Internet as a tool for teaching Technology, Pedagogy and Education. VOL 15(NUMB 2), 207-221
  • CHILDS, A, GODWIN, J and SORENSEN, P. AND TWIDLE, J., 2006. What’s special about the Internet in science teaching? Issues and challenges for Initial Teacher Education. In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P and NEWTON, L. AND HARRISON, C., 2006. Interactive Classroom Explorer in Science Teachers' Professional Development: A Report for Gatsby Technical Education Projects Gatsby. (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P and TWIDLE, J. CHILDS, A. AND GODWIN, J., 2006. Partnership approaches to developing student teachers’ use of the Internet in science teaching: a four year study of five university-schools partnerships in England In: American Educational Research Association (AERA). (In Press.)
  • MCCARTHY, S, YOUENS, B and SORENSEN, P. AND NEWTON, L., 2006. Professional development beginning at recruitment: a case study of secondary science teachers in the UK. In: International Society for Teacher Education (ISTE). (In Press.)
  • SHMIDT, C, YOUENS, B, SORENSEN, P, HALL, C and YOUNG, J. AND MANDZUK, D., 2006. Internationally educated teachers in England and Manitoba: examining complexities of integration across contexts In: Canadian Society for the Study of Education. (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P and NEWTON, L. AND HARRISON, C., 2006. The professional development of science teachers through interaction with digital video In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • THOMSON, P.L., BROWN, L., DAY, C. and TOWNSEND, A., 2005. Developing A Networked Learning Community with ICT - Learning the Hard Way
  • SORENSEN, P., YOUNG, J. and MANDZUK, D., 2005. Alternative routes into the teaching profession Interchange. 36(4), 371-403
  • SORENSEN, P.D., 2005. Collaborative Practice in Initial Teacher Education: The Use of Paired Subject Placements in the School Practicum International Journal of Learning. 14, 619-631
  • SORENSEN, P.D., KATENE, W., SEAN, J., JOHNSON, S., PARRY, J., LOCK, R., JORDAN-DAUS, R., BURGHES, D. and EVANS, J., 2005. Promoting Good Practice in the Use of Paired Placements Across Partnerships TTA.
  • SORENSEN, P., 2005. Peer learning in the practicum: the use of collaboration and dialogue in preservice teacher development In: American Educational Research Association (AERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P, TWIDLE, J and CHILDS, A. AND GODWIN, J., 2005. The Use of the Internet in Science Teaching: a Study of Developments in Use by Student Teachers in England In: Proceedings of the Fifth International ESERA Conference. 1519-1522
  • SORENSEN, P, TWIDLE, J and CHILDS, A. AND GODWIN, J., 2005. The Use of the Internet in Science Teaching: a Study of Developments in Use by Student Teachers in England In: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P.D., 2004. Learning to teach collaboratively: the use of subject pairs in the school practicum. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy University of Manitoba. Available at: <http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap/pdf%20files/sorensen.pdf>
  • TWIDLE, J., CHILDS, A., DUSSART, M., GODWIN, J. and SORENSEN, P.D., 2004. Exploring the Elements that make an Effective Web-based Science Lesson
  • SORENSEN, P. AND SEARS, J., 2004. The Use of Paired Placements in the School Practicum In: Eleventh International Literacy and Education Conference. (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P.D., 2004. Teaching Strategies and Organising Learning. In: FROST, J. AND TURNER, T., ed., Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School (Second Edition) London: Routledge.
  • SORENSEN, P. AND YOUNG, J., 2004. Alternative routes into teaching in England and Canada: an examination of some underlying assumptions in initial teacher education In: Annual Conference of Canada Society for Study of Education (CSSE). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P., 2004. Collaborative Practice in ITE: Models of peer learning in the school practicum In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P, TWIDLE, J and CHILDS, A. AND GODWIN, J., 2003. Producing an Internet Resource for Science Lecturers and their Trainees In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • TWIDLE, J. CHILDS, A, DUSSART, M, GODWIN, J and AND SORENSEN, P., 2003. The Use of Web-based Materials to Support Teaching by PGCE Science Students ESCalate.
  • CHILDS, A and SORENSEN, P. AND TWIDLE, J., 2003. The Use of the Internet by PGCE Science Students In: Annual Meeting of the Associaition for Science Education (ASE). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P., 2003. Collaboration in Practice: Developing Student Teachers’ Professional Knowledge Through Peer Discourse During School Placements In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • TWIDLE, J., CHILDS, A., DUSSART, M. and SORENSEN, P.D., 2003. Finding Internet Resources for Science Teachers Science Teacher Education. 36, 10-11
  • SORENSEN, P., 2002. The use of subject pairing in school experience placements as a strategy for professional learning In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P.D., HOULT, E. and PHILPOTT, C., 2002. Peer Learning in Initial Teacher Education (ITE): The use of subject pariring in school experience placements as a strategy for professional learning
  • SORENSEN, P.D., TWIDLE, J., CHILDS, A. and DUSSART, M., 2002. Supporting the use of web-based materials by PGCE secondary science students
  • TWIDLE, J, CHILDS, A, DUSSART, M and GODWIN, J. AND SORENSEN, P., 2002. Supporting the Use of Web-based Materials by PGCE Secondary Science Students In: British Educational Research Association Conference. (In Press.)
  • TWIDLE, J, CHILDS, A, DUSSART, M and GODWIN, J. AND SORENSEN, P., 2002. Supporting the Use of Web-based Materials by PGCE Secondary Science Students In: British Educational Research Association (BERA). (In Press.)
  • SORENSEN, P.D. and SEARS, J., eds., 2000. Issues in Science Teaching Routledge, London and New York.

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