Dr Karen Blackmore


University of Worcester Learning and Teaching Fellow: Senior Lecturer in Primary Education

Primary Education

Contact Details

email: k.blackmore@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 85 5395

Karen has always found science fascinating; one of her earliest memories is of watching rain drops hitting a window pane. What determined which one reached the bottom of the window pane first? Was it the size of the rain drop or where it landed? This initial childhood curiosity fuelled a lifetime interest in science.

Karen pursued her scientific education in the beautiful city of Bath, answering slightly more complex scientific problems but still with the same level of fascination. She then forged a career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Senior Research Scientist. One of the most fulfilling aspects of this role was acting as a mentor to Masters students. Years later this prompted her to cross-train in the education sector as a secondary science teacher. A decade and a half later, working in school as a Science Teacher Training Mentor, led her to reflect what is more important? the acquisition of science knowledge itself or the processes by which that is achieved?.

As a Learning and Teaching Fellow and Science Mentor at the University of Worcester , Karen hopes to meld her passion for science with a deep reaching interest in how people learn. She teaches on the undergraduate BA QTS and the PGCE initial teacher training courses, as well as supervising and teaching Masters, Ed.D and Ph.D. students. Her philosophy on teaching and learning is best described by this YouTube video clip, where she asks her students to reflect on the metaphor of an osprey seeking its prey and understanding knowledge acquisition and assessment.



  • PGCE, Teaching and Learning in HE. University of Worcester
  • OCR Teaching Certificate, Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia), South Worcestershire College
  • PGCE, Secondary Combined Science, University of Worcester
  • PhD, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath
  • BSc Hons, Biochemistry, University of Bath

Teaching & Research

  • Technology enhanced science specific pedagogy.
  • Identification and formulation of strategies to raise the profile of STEM subjects in schools and colleges.
  • The role of positive role models for science based careers in schools.
  • The impact of community projects upon public perception and attitudes to science.
  • Science specific pedagogy for primary ITE students.
  • The co-construction of professional identity by emergent educational researchers.

PhD Project Ideas:

Professional Bodies

  • Member of the Consortium for Research Excellence in Teaching (CREST) subject forum
  • Member of the Post 92 Universities Research Forum
  • Member of the Biochemical Society.
  • Member of the Association for Science Education.
  • Member of the University of Bath Alumni Society.
  • STEM Ambassador.
  • Academic Lead for the Students as Academic Partners scheme (SAP)
  • Member of the Worcester Genome Project Steering Group


Trainee teachers perceptions and experience of primary science teaching, and the impact on their developing professional identity. (2015) European Journal of Teacher Education. (under review)

Blackmore, K. (2013) Improving Confidence in Scaffolding Tricky Science Concepts A Practical Learning Journey Model. New Perspectives in Science Education. Florence. Libreriauniversitaria.it, 2, pp 8-14. Florence, Italy.

Second career researchers, co-construction of professional identity
Birmingham City University (2012) Post 92 University forum presenter.
Blackmore K.

Primary Initial Teacher training- improving confidence in scaffolding tricky science concepts a learning journey model. Crest Symposium for Research Excellence. Guild HE, London (2011) Blackmore K. and Collins P.

Science clubs and beyond ASE annual conference workshop presenter
University of Reading (2011) Howarth S. and Blackmore K.

WOW factors in Science lessons. ASE annual conference workshop presenter.
University of Nottingham (2010) in collaboration with Blackmore K. Howarth S, Scott L and Collins P.

Dr K Blackmore (nee Merry)

Mammalian gene expression in cell culture systems
Japanese symposium for gene expression. Nagoya, Japan (1996)
Opening speaker

International symposium for differential display technology
Workshop participant. Halifax, Canada (1996)

The expression of Il-1 and TGF in human osteoblast-like cells.
K. Merry and M. Gowen (1991) Cytokine 1: 57-63

Transcriptional regulation of TGF and IL-1 in human osteoblast-like cells in vitro.
K.Merry, J. Russell, A.Littlewood, and M.Gowen Bone 12: 4 294 (1991)

Osteoclasts express osteopontin mRNA in sections of human bone as detected by in situ hybridization. Calcified Tissue International. 50 S1 A40 (1992)
K.Merry, R. Dodds, A.Littlewood, and M.Gowen.

Expression of osteopontin mRNA by osteoclasts and osteoblasts in modelling adult human bone. Journal of Cell Science (1993) 104(4) 1013-20
Merry K, Dodds R, Littlewood A, Gowen M.

Expression of mRNA for IL-1?, IL-6 and TGF? 1 in developing human bone and cartilage. J.Histochem Cytochem (1994) 42(6) 735 - 744
Dodds RA, Merry K, Littlewood A, Gowen M


External Roles