Kim's research focuses on the impacts of inquiry pedagogy and curriculum on science teaching and learning, the use of digital technologies and multimodal representations to communicate scientific information effectively, and fostering scientific literacy through enhancement of student engagement in STEM. Her school-based research focuses on teachers and the development of reflective and practical skills needed to better visually and verbally represent and communicate science concepts to enhance students' interest, engagement and learning through inquiry-based science.

Research interests:

  • theorisation of how inquiry pedagogy and curriculum transforms students’ inquiry and questioning competencies through reconstruction of thinking
  • conceptualising representational fluency and ways to recognise and measure these skills to enable the development of professional learning models for teachers
  • how advanced genomics technologies and their ethical, social, policy and pedagogical impacts can be incorporated into secondary and tertiary studies and how to educate healthcare professionals and the broader society to inform decision-making.
  • how to better inform and educate elderly adults to transform attitudes and behaviour with a focus around energy conservation
  • Publications

    Nichols, K. (2017). Impact of professional learning on teachers’ representational strategies and students’ cognitive engagement with molecular genetics concepts. Journal of Biological Education. DOI 10.1080.00219266.2017.1285800

    Nichols, K., Burgh, G., Fynes-Clinton, L. (2017). Reconstruction of thinking across the curriculum through the community of inquiry. In M. Gregory, J. Haynes & K. Murris (Eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children, Section IX.

    Nichols, K., Kennedy, C. & Burgh, G. (2017). Comparing two inquiry professional development interventions in science on primary students’ questioning and other inquiry behaviours. Research in Science Education, 47, 1: 1-24.

    Nichols, K., Gillies, G. & Kleiss, D. (2016). A professional learning model that cultivates primary science classrooms’ representational profiles. International Journal of Educational Research, 76: 12-33.

    Nichols, K., Stevenson, M., Hedberg, J. & Gillies, R. (2016). Primary teachers’ representational practices: From competency to fluency. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46, 4: 509-531.

    Nichols, K., Gillies, R. & Hedberg, J. (2016). Argumentation-based collaborative inquiry in science through representational work: Impact on primary students’ representational fluency. Research in Science Education, 46, 3: 343-364.

    Gillies, R., Nichols, K. & Kahn, A. (2015). The effects of scientific representations on primary students’ development of scientific discourse and conceptual understandings during cooperative contemporary inquiry-science.  Cambridge Journal of Education, 45, 4: 427-449.

    Nichols, K., Ranasinghe, M. & Hanan, J. (2013). Translating between representations in a social context: A study of undergraduate science students' representational fluency. Instructional Science, 41, 4: 699-728.

    Nichols, K., Hanan, J., Ranasinghe, M. (2013). Transforming the social practices of learning with representations: A study on disciplinary discourse. Research in Science Education, 43, 1: 179-208.

    Gillies, R.M., Nichols, K., Burgh, G. Haynes, M. (2013). Primary students’ scientific reasoning and discourse during cooperative inquiry-based science activities. International Journal of Educational Research, 63: 127-140.

Staff Details

07 3346 7812

HASS Faculty Research Fellow (ISSR) / Senior Lecturer (School of Education)

  • BSc Honors Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Grad Dip Science Education
  • PhD Physiology