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Dr Sylvia Baker


Sylvia Baker is a retired science teacher and former headteacher with 27 years experience in both the state and independent sectors. In 2010 she was awarded a PhD from the Institute of Education at Warwick University for a quantitative investigation into the beliefs and values held by teenage pupils attending independent Christian schools in England. She is actively continuing this research through a further project which is examining the beliefs, values and contributions to society of former pupils of the same schools who are now aged up to 50 years.

From 2011 to 2017 Sylvia was a Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndwr University. Having obtained two biology degrees in the late 1960s, together with experience of working as a researcher in a neuroscience laboratory in the early 1970s, she has an ongoing interest in the inter-relationship between science, religion and education. She has written and lectured on these topics for more than 40 years and her PhD included a focus on these issues. She is currently part of a project which is investigating beliefs about creation and related matters held by church-goers in England.

Research interests

Faith schools and their impact on wider society; education, faith and science and their correlates; teenage culture, religion and education.

Selected Publications

ap Siôn, T., Francis, L.J. & Baker, S. (2007) Experiencing education in the new Christian schools in the United Kingdom: listening to the male graduates, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 28, 1-15.

ap Siôn, T., Francis, L.J. & Baker, S. (2009) The theological case for Christian schools in England and Wales: a qualitative perspective listening to female alumnae. In: L. J. Francis, M.Robbins & J.Astley (eds) Empirical Theology in Texts and Tables (Leiden, Brill) pp 217-245

Baker, S. (2009) The Christian Schools Campaign: what were its long-term consequences? Research in Education, 81, 12-19.

Baker, S. (2010) Creationism in the Classroom: a controversy with serious consequences. Research in Education, 83, 78-88.

Baker, S. (2012) The Theos/Comres Survey into public perception of Darwinism in the UK: a recipe for confusion. Public Understanding of Science, 21, 286-293.

Francis, L. J., Penny, G. and Baker S. (2012) Defining and assessing spiritual health: a comparative study among 13- to 15- year-old pupils attending secular schools, Anglican schools and private Christian schools in England and Wales. Peabody Journal of Education, 87, 351-367.

Baker, S. (2013) Swimming Against the Tide: the new independent Christian schools and their teenage pupils. Oxford, Peter Lang.

Village, A. and Baker S. (2013) Reasons given by UK churchgoers for their stance on evolution. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 32: 165-177.

Village, A. and Baker S. (2013) Darwinian evolution among churchgoers in England: the effects of psychological type. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 52: 557-572.

Baker, S. (2014) Faith-based schools and the creationism controversy: the importance of the meta-narrative. In J.D.Chapman, S. McNamara, M. J. Reiss and Y. Waghid (eds) International Handbook of Learning, Teaching and Leading in Faith-based School (London, Springer) pp177-192.

Full publications

Dr Sylvia Baker