Associate Professor Bev Margaret Ann France

PhD, MSc, DipTchg


Bev joined the University after a career of teaching science and biology in secondary schools in London, Christchurch and Wellington.

Her research interests include science and technology education especially when they are focussed on SocioScientific Issues.  She is researching how such issues provide a context for curriculum development in both science and technology education.  Communication about science and technology is a particular focus of her work and she has published a book that proposes a model for enhancing communication when the science community talks to the public: : A model for communication about biotechnology.  Her recent book continues this communication focus where she provided research about connecting learners with scientists and technologists Bringing Communities Together. Communication about SocioScientific Issues (CASSIS) is her latest research project where researchers from England and Toulouse are working on a pedagogy to improve communication between groups with different opinions about the control of pest animals when they interact with agriculture. 

The public understanding of science and technology depends on how these disciplines are represented.  Barriers to understanding provide further avenues of research and she is researching how models both enhance and provide barriers to understanding.

Bev worked with Vicki Compton on developing two new strands (The Nature of Technology and Technological Knowledge) for the Technology Curriculum. Background information and papers can be found on TKI.

Research | Current

  • Communication about SocioScientific Issues
  • Learning in Science Education
  • Technology education - Nature of technology
  • Public understanding of science
  • Narrative research about scientists’ lives

Postgraduate supervision

Research students

  • Brent Wagner - Modelling and learning in science: making cultural links
  • Kathryn Garthwaite - Perceptions of nature and risk.  Influences on secondary students' meaningful communcations about possum pest control in NZ
  • Patricia Potter - The role of experience in developing design and problem solving expertise with hard materials.
  • Wendy Slatter - Food for thought.  Food literacy for the 21st Century.

Recently completed post graduate projects

  • MProfSt (2014) Rajesh Ram - Biosecurity: an option or a necessity?  Young people's views.
  • MProfSt (2014)  Elizabeth de Roo - The role of models in science learning: Secondary students' views
  • PhD (2012) Sally Birdsall - The pedagogical realisation of education for sustainability.
  • MEd (2012) Kathryn Garthwaite - Year 10 students' expression of scientific literacy.
  • MProfSt (2012) Nicholas Major - Students' views of global warming and the factors influencing their involvement in environmental issues.
  • MProfSt (2012) Helen Mason -  Developing opinions about socioscientific issues.





Areas of expertise

Science education, Technology education, PCK, Communication models.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Heap, R., & France, B. (2013). Realising the potential of an authentic context to understand the characteristics of NOS and NOT: You, Me and UV. International Journal of Science Education, 35 (2).10.1080/09500693.2011.653417
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rena Heap
  • France, B., & Compton, V. (Eds.) (2012). Bringing communities together: Connecting learners with scientists or technologists. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • Bray, B., France, B., & Gilbert, J. K. (2011). Identifying the essential elements of effective science communication: What do the experts say?. International Journal of Science Education Part B, 2 (1), 23-41. 10.1080/21548455.2011.611627
  • Birdsall, S., & France, B. (2011). Attitudes towards using animals in research and teaching: Opinions from a selected group of female secondary school students. Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 6 (1-2), 15-25. 10.1080/1177083X.2011.614263
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sally Birdsall
  • France, B. (2011). How Post Normal views of science have contributed to a model of communication about biotechnology. Futures, 43, 166-172. 10.1016/j.futures.2010.10.005
  • France, B., & Bay, J. L. (2010). Questions Students Ask: Bridging the gap between scientists and students in a research institute classroom. International Journal of Science Education, 32 (2), 173-194. 10.1080/09500690903205189
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jacquie Bay
  • France, B., Compton, V. J., & Gilbert, J. K. (2010). Understanding modelling in technology and science: the potential of stories from the field. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 21 (3), 381-394. 10.1007/s10798-010-9126-4
  • France, B. (2010). Narrative interrogation: constructing parallel stories. In S. Rodrigues (Ed.) Using analytical frameworks for classroom research (pp. 90-108). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge Falmer.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 333A
New Zealand