Home People Dr Jonathan Sargent

Dr Jonathan Sargent

PGCE Secondary Science Coordinator

Jonathan Sargent


Jonathan taught in secondary schools in London before moving to West Sussex. He held the position of Head of Physics and Science at a local West Sussex secondary school for 10 years.

He then worked for the West Sussex Advisory Service as director of the Science Education Development Unit and was both contributing author and project director for New Horizons: Science 5-16 published by Cambridge University Press.

His career moved to a large and challenging Brighton comprehensive school where he was Senior Deputy Headteacher for a number of years. Later, he ran the GTP Science Course for the University of Sussex.

Jonathan has been running the Science with Biology/Chemistry/Physics routes for some years and in that time has developed an extensive network of science teachers and departments across west Sussex, Hampshire and beyond.


Jonathan undertook his doctorate at Kings College, London supervised by Professor Paul Black. His doctoral thesis looked at how teachers coped (or failed to cope) with the move towards a more process-skill focused science curriculum.  The issues of how teachers cope with rapidly imposed changes are more germane now than ever and Jonathan remains fascinated by the issue to teachers coping with change.

He is also extremely interested in the process of teaching science and how children learn.  Learning is a messy process; we know something about successful strategies but we are yet to be confident as to why a particular strategy works for one individual yet may be less successful with others.

He has also always had a real interest in the whole field of misconceptions.

Two quotes which appeal to Jonathan are:

“I find teaching of science fairly easy. I have no difficulties with science education; my difficulties are with science re-education. If I can teach something about which the students have never heard, I find that they generally both welcome and understand it. It is when I have to teach them about something that they have already learned incorrectly that I start to identify with Sisyphus.”

Fraser http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/BadScience.html

“Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out.”

Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)

Other department members

Caroline Rickard
Associate Link Tutor
Carys Wreyford
Carys Wreyford
Senior Lecturer in Education, Special Needs and Disability (SEND) Studies
Debra Laxton
Debra Laxton
Early Childhood Lead & Senior Lecturer in Education

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