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Natasha Serret

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Primary Teacher Education


Dr. Natasha Serret is a senior lecturer and the course leader for the undergraduate BA (Hons) in Primary Education at the Nottingham Institute of Education. She is passionate about science learning and teaching, and this is reflected in her range of experiences of teaching and educational research over the last 20 years. She has valued the opportunities to share this expertise with undergraduate and postgraduate students at NTU where she also leads on research modules (Y4 Independent Study and Y3 Educational Development) as well as contributing to the science teaching on the BA Primary Education course. Dr. Serret also supervises doctoral candidates.

Career overview

Natasha joined NTU in 2009 as a lecturer for the primary education team. Prior to this, Natasha was a senior research officer and eventually a post-doctoral researcher at King’s College, London where she obtained her PhD (2010) that investigated the relationship between classroom talk and cognitive development in primary science classrooms. As a PhD student at King’s College, Natasha was awarded the prestigious Rosalind Driver scholarship. Natasha has collaborated with a number of funding bodies, international research teams and creative partnerships. Natasha has also ran a number of primary Cognitive Acceleration professional development programmes working with local authorities across the UK (2003-2010). Natasha’s career began as a classroom teacher and Science Coordinator working in an inner London Primary School for 6 years.  Subsequently, Natasha joined King’s College, London as a research officer (2001-2003) and helped to develop the successful Let’s Think Through Primary Science professional development programme and teaching and learning resources as part of an Astra-Zeneca funded project aimed at extending the Cognitive Acceleration programme into the primary sector.

Since then, Natasha has worked on a DFID/British Council funded project (2002-2005) in collaboration with Kenyatta University and a number of primary schools across Kenya, that explored how to raise the achievement, attitudes and self- esteem of Kenyan girls in primary science. She has been an external evaluator for the Gatsby Trust Foundation, investigating the impact of a science enhancement programme across secondary schools in Tower Hamlets (2003-2006). She was the Senior Research Officer for a Glaxo/Welcome funded project, working in partnership with the education team at the English National Opera to develop a teaching and learning programme for children and teachers around the theme of ‘Singing and the Science of Sound’ (2002-2003). As part of an Astra Zeneca funded research project (2007-2009), working with the Field Studies Council, Natasha helped to develop a Continuing Professional Development Unit that promoted science learning in urban outdoor settings. Most recently, Natasha has been interested in how to strengthen formative and summative assessment practices in science education. This has led to ESRC funded national research project work  (2005-2010) and an international EUFP7 funded project ASSISTME (Assess Inquiry in Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education), where with the King’s College team, Natasha as a post-doctoral researcher, collaborated with 8 other European research teams to consider how to support primary and secondary teachers in the formative and summative assessment of inquiry-based learning in Science, Technology and Mathematics (2013-2017).

Research areas

Natasha’s research interests are in science education where she has investigated how classroom talk can be used to promote cognitive development and support formative and summative assessment practices in science classrooms. Her research considers science inquiry both inside the classroom and also in outdoor learning contexts. Natasha’s research focuses on classroom practice and she has spent the last 20 years investigating the impact that professional learning through professional development, communities of practice and ‘Close to practice’ research can have on teaching and learning. Natasha draws from qualitative research methods and has applied a multi-step open coding approach across a range of data sources (interviews, written teacher reflections, lesson observations and transcripts of classroom talk) to determine the conditions that support and constrain learning and teaching in science.

External activity

Natasha Serret remains an active member of the Association for Science Education. During her association membership over the last 20 years, Natasha has been the Secretary for the London committee, she sat on the editorial board for the Primary Science journal (2004-2009) and is currently a member of the International Committee for the Association for Science Education, helping to run the Annual International Conference day and the International journal. She has valued working with the wider education and research community. She was the co-editor for the most recent publication (2018) of the ASE Guide to Primary Science Education. She was awarded the ASE Special Service award for her contribution to Science in 2011 and again in 2018

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research has been conducted with the collaboration, funding and / or support of:


Selected publications

Serret, N. and Gripton, C. eds., 2020. Purposeful Planning for Learning: Shaping Learning and Teaching in the Primary School. London: Routledge.

Serret, N. and Earle, S., 2018. ASE guide to primary science education. Hatfield: ASE

Serret, N., Correia, C. & Harrison, C. (2018). Formative practice in primary science. In Serret, N. & Earle, S. (eds). ASE guide to primary science education. Hatfield: ASE

Harrison, C., Constantinou, C.P., Correia, C.F., Grangeat, M., Hähkiöniemi, M., Livitzis, M., Nieminen, P., Papadouris, N., Rached, E., Serret, N. and Tiberghien, A., 2018. Assessment On-the-Fly: Promoting and Collecting Evidence of Learning Through Dialogue. In Transforming Assessment (pp. 83-107). Springer, Cham.

Serret, N., Harrison, C., Correia, C. and Harding, J., 2017. Transforming assessment and teaching practices in science inquiry. The Journal of Emergent Science: Special Edition!, 12, 48-54

Serret. N., Harrison, C., Correia, C., Harding, J. (2016). Primary teachers’ understanding of science inquiry: influences on their teaching and formative assessment practice. ESERA e-paper.

Earle, S. & Serret. N. (2015) Learning Science Through Talk. In Dunne, M. & Peacock, A. (eds). Primary Science (A guide to Teaching Practice) Second Edition. London: Sage

Black, P.,  Harrison, C., Hodgen, J., Marshall, B. & Serret, N. (2013). Inside the Black Box of Assessment (Assessment of learning by teachers and schools). London: GL  Assessment.

Earle, S. & Serret. N. (2012) Children Communicating Science. In Dunne, M. & Peacock, A. (eds). Primary Science (A guide to Teaching Practice). London: Sage

Glackin, M. & Serret, N. (2011) Using local outdoor spaces for learning. In Hollins, M. (eds). ASE Guide to Secondary Science Education. Hatfield: The Association for Science Education.

Black, P., Harrison, C., Hodgen, J., Marshall. B. & Serret, N. (2011).  Can teachers’ summative assessments produce dependable results and also enhance classroom learning?, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice 18 (4) pp. 451-469

Black, P., Harrison, C., Hodgen, J., Marshall. B. & Serret, N. (2010).  Validity in teachers’ summative assessments, Assessment in Education:Principles, Policy & Practice 17 (2) pp. 214-232

Adey, P. & Serret, N. (2010) Science teaching and Cognitive Acceleration. In Osbourne, J. & Dillon, J. (eds.)  Good Practice in Science Teaching. Berkshire: Open University Press

Serret, N. (2008) Social construction: encouraging productive talk. In Let’s Think Handbook: A Guide to Cognitive Acceleration in the Primary School, Adey, P. (Ed.)

Serret, N. (2006) Developing children’s thinking in primary science. In ASE Guide to Primary Science Education, Harlen, W. (Ed.)

Serret, N. (2004) Leaping into the unknown: Developing thinking in the primary science

classroom. Primary Science Review, 82, 8-11.

Adey, P., Nagy, F., Robertson, A., Serret, N., & Wadsworth, P. (2003). Let’s Think

Through Science. Windsor: NFER-Nelson


ASE (2017) Inquiry Based Learning and Assessment in Primary and Secondary Science Natasha Serret, Catarina Correia, Jason Harding, Christine Harrison and Paul Black, Reading, 4th Jan 2017-7th Jan 2017

ASE (2017) How can we promote a deeper engagement in outdoor learning of primary trainee teachers? Sarah Hindmarsh, Sue Hunt, Alison Murphy, Dr.Natasha Serret, Paul Waring-Thomas

BERA (2016) Assessing Inquiry in Science: Developing a Primary and Secondary Teacher Education Programme Natasha Serret, Catarina Correia, Jason Harding, Christine Harrison and Paul Black, Leeds, 14th Sept- 17th Sept.

ASE (2016) ‘Assessing and Enabling Science Inquiry’ Natasha Serret and Jason Harding ASE, Birmingham, 6th Jan 2016-9th Jan 2016

ESERA (2015), Helsinki ‘Primary Teachers’ Understanding of Science Inquiry: Influences on their teaching and formative assessment practice’.

ASE (2010, 2009) Thinking beyond the Urban Classroom (Co-presentation with Melissa Glackin)

BERA (2007) Exploring the dialogic potential of classroom talk in the context of primary science thinking lessons

BERA (2007) Riding the interface: an exploration of the issues that beset teachers as they strive for assessment systems (Co-presentation with Paul Black, Christine Harrison, Bethan Marshall and Jeremy Hodgen) _

NARST (2002) Primary Cognitive Acceleration Through Science Education

See all of Natasha Serret's publications...

Press expertise

Primary science education, assessment for learning, developing pupil talk and thinking and using the outdoors to support science education.