Personal webpages of Keith Taber of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please note that I am transferring my web-presence to a new site based on the University's Camtools technology, which provides simpler updating and easier-on-the-eye pages.
You can find these new pages at
for the most up-to-date information. Thank you.
- "The editors of the New Science of Learning: Cognition, Computers and Collaboration in Education [Springer, 2010] have recruited much of the top talent in the field of learning to write about the latest developments in the scence of learning." Robert J. Sternberg writing in the book's Foreword - it includes Taber's contribution: 'Intuitions, Conceptions and Frameworks: Modelling Student Cognition in Science Learning'.
- Learning impediments:
- a year 7 pupil explains how the hole at the base of the Bunsen burner is there to let the dirt out…explaining his observations of the effect on the flame produced.
- a year 8 pupil who had been studying how different types of rock are formed tells me how sand is formed, and how sandstone looks "just looks like it’s made out of a load of sand stuck together", but does not make the expected connection!
- Recent Gilbert & Treagust Chemical Education book: Review published in IJSE recommended that Taber's chapter on learning about symbolic representation in chemistry "should be required reading for teachers and trainee teachers at all levels."
- New book on science education published - Progressing Science Education: Constructing the scientific research programme into the contingent nature of learning science.
- The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion has recently been awarded funding (by the John Templeton Foundation) for a three year project (LASAR) looking at secondary students perceptions of how school science relates to religious beliefs. Dr Taber is working on this project with Dr Berry Billingsley of Reading University. What are secondary pupils telling us?
* See the webpages on the science learning doctor approach for interpreting student learning difficulties in science in terms of a model for how teaching-learning can go wrong in science. These pages (under ongoing development) include examples of (secondary age) student thinking about school science topics interpreted in terms of the model. A recent update is:
Energy can be made, but only in biology
Taber, K. S. (2009). Progressing Science Education: Constructing the scientific research programme into the contingent nature of learning science. Dordrecht: Springer. (Details)Chapters include*:
Taber, K. S., Editor (2007) Science Education for Gifted Learners, London; Routledge (Details) (reviewed in IJSE)
Taber, K. S. (2007) Classroom-based Research and Evidence-based Practice: A Guide for Teachers, SAGE Publications (review)
Taber, K. S. (2007) Enriching School Science for the Gifted Learner, London: Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme.
McLaughlin, C., Black-Hawkins, K., Brindley, S., McIntyre, D. & Taber, K. S. (2006) Researching Schools: Stories from a Schools-University Partnership for Educational Research, Abingdon: Routledge
Kind, V. & Taber, K. S (2005) Science: Teaching School Subjects 11-19, London: Routledge (reviewed in IJSE)
Taber, K. S. (2002) Chemical misconceptions - prevention, diagnosis and cure, London: Royal Society of Chemistry (described as "the most useful new resource on methods of teaching chemistry since Dudley Herron’s The Chemistry Classroom": JChemEd review)
Taber, K. S. (2009). Learning at the symbolic level. In J. K. Gilbert & D. F. Treagust (Eds.), Multiple Representations in Chemical Education (pp. 75-108). Dordrecht: Springer. [Abstract]
De Jong, O. & Taber, K. S. (2007) Teaching and learning the many faces of chemistry. In Abell, S. K. & Lederman, N. G., Handbook of Research on Science Education, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp.631-652 .Key* research papers/reviews:
Taber, K. S. (2004) Conceptual Development. In Alsop, Bencze & Pedretti, Analysing exemplary science teaching: theoretical lenses and a spectrum of possibilities for practice, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Taber, K. S. & Coll, R. (2002) Chemical Bonding. In Gilbert, J. K. et al., (editors) Chemical Education: Research-based Practice, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers BV, pp.213-234
Taber, K. S., & García Franco, A. (2010). Learning processes in chemistry: Drawing upon cognitive resources to learn about the particulate structure of matter. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(1), 99-142.
García Franco, A. & Taber, Keith S. (2009). Secondary Students’ Thinking about Familiar Phenomena: Learners’ explanations from a curriculum context where 'particles' is a key idea for organising teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 31(14), 1917-1952.
Taber, K. S., & Bricheno, P. A. (2009). Coordinating Procedural and Conceptual Knowledge to Make Sense of Word Equations: Understanding the complexity of a 'simple' completion task at the learner's resolution. International Journal of Science Education, 31(15), 2021-205.
Taber, K. S. (2008) College students’ conceptions of chemical stability: The widespread adoption of a heuristic rule out of context and beyond its range of application. International Journal of Science Education. (First published on-line 26 March 2008, DOI: 10.1080/09500690801975594.)
Adbo, K. & Taber, K. S. (2008). Learners' mental models of the particle nature of matter: a study of 16 year-old Swedish science students. International Journal of Science Education. (Published on-line 03 January 2008, DOI: 10.1080/09500690701799383).
Taber, K. S. (2008). Conceptual Resources for Learning Science: Issues of transience and grain-size in cognition and cognitive structure. International Journal of Science Education. 30 (8), pp.1027-1053. (Published on-line, 25th October, 2007, DOI: 10.1080/09500690701485082.)
Taber, K. S. (2008). Exploring Conceptual Integration in Student Thinking: Evidence from a case study. International Journal of Science Education, 30 (14), 1915-1943. (Published on-line, 9th October, 2007, DOI: 10.1080/09500690701589404.)
Tan, K. C. D., Taber, K. S., Liu, X., Coll, R. K., Lorenzo, M., Li, J., Goh, N.K. & Chia, L.S. (2007). Students’ conceptions of ionisation energy: A cross-cultural study. International Journal of Science Education, 30 (2), pp.263-283. (First published on-line, 3rd September 2007, DOI: 10.1080/09500690701385258.)
Cokelez, A., Dumon, A, & Taber, K. S. (2008) Upper secondary French students, chemical transformations and the "register of models": a cross-sectional study, International Journal of Science Education, 30 (6), pp.807-836. (First published on-line 01 August 2007, DOI: 10.1080/09500690701308458.)
Taber, K. S. (2006) Beyond Constructivism: the Progressive Research Programme into Learning Science, Studies in Science Education, 42, pp.125-184.
Taber, K. S. (2005) Learning quanta: barriers to stimulating transitions in student understanding of orbital ideas, Science Education, 89 (1), pp.94-116.
Taber, K. S. (2003) Mediating mental models of metals: acknowledging the priority of the learner’s prior learning, Science Education, 87, pp.732-758.
Taber, K. S. (2003) Understanding ionisation energy: physical, chemical and alternative conceptions, Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 4 (2), pp.149-169.
Taber, K. S. (2003) Lost without trace or not brought to mind? - a case study of remembering and forgetting of college science, Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 4 (3), pp.249-277.
Taber, K. S. (2003) The atom in the chemistry curriculum: fundamental concept, teaching model or epistemological obstacle?, Foundations of Chemistry, 5 (1), pp.43-84.
Taber, K. S. (2001) Shifting sands: a case study of conceptual development as competition between alternative conceptions, International Journal of Science Education, 23 (7), 731-753.
Taber, K. S. (2001) Building the structural concepts of chemistry: some considerations from educational research, Chemistry Education: Research and Practice in Europe, 2 (2), pp.123-158.
Taber, K. S. (2001) The mismatch between assumed prior knowledge and the learner’s conceptions: a typology of learning impediments, Educational Studies, 27 (2), 159-171.
Taber, K. S. (2000) Chemistry lessons for universities?: a review of constructivist ideas, University Chemistry Education, 4 (2), pp.26-35.
Taber, K. S. (2000) Multiple frameworks?: Evidence of manifold conceptions in individual cognitive structure, International Journal of Science Education, 22 (4), pp.399-417.
Taber, K. S. (1998) An alternative conceptual framework from chemistry education, International Journal of Science Education, 20 (5), pp.597-608.
Taber, K. S. and Watts, M. (1996) The secret life of the chemical bond: students’ anthropomorphic and animistic references to bonding, International Journal of Science Education, 18 (5), pp.557-568.
Taber, K. S. (1995) Development of Student Understanding: A Case Study of Stability and Lability in Cognitive Structure, Research in Science & Technological Education, 13 (1), pp.87-97.