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Dr John Thornby


Dr John Thornby - Associate Professor

MInstP, MIMA, CPhys, CSci, SFHEA 

Tel: 02476 150336
Room: WA 1.07
Email: John dot Thornby at warwick dot ac dot uk

John is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Teacher Education, where he is currently the Head of STEM and Admissions Tutor. In addition, he coordinates aspects of the taught Postgraduate Studies provision for the Secondary PGCE and PGCE International. His subject interests are mathematics and physics.

John has previously worked in physics, engineering and applied mathematics research within the Mathematics Institute, WMG and the School of Engineering before moving into education. In his educational research, John has studied students’ experiences in their transition into Higher Education within mathematics. His current interests include understanding attrition rates in STEM education, modelling indicators for success in teaching, gender in mathematics and strategies to tackle teacher shortage. A list of his publications (along with pre-prints) can be found on his WRAP page.

John has previously taught A-level Further Mathematics for the MEI Further Maths Support Programme, as well as undergraduate modules in both maths and physics, including "Experimental Mathematics". He has supervised numerous student research projects across a wide range of applied disciplines and has also served as an Academic Mentor for students with unseen disabilities. He is currently the Deputy Warden for Rootes Residences - a pastoral role within the Residential Life Team.

In 2018 John was elected as a Fellow of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy.

Professional & Teaching Expertise

  • Head of STEM
  • Admissions Tutor for PGCE Secondary
  • Postgraduate Studies Coordinator
  • Mathematics Education

Academic Interests & Teaching and Learning Specialisms

  • Mathematics and Physics teaching and subject knowledge
  • Indicators for success and attrition rates in teaching
  • Gender in STEM education and industry
  • Near-peer mentoring
  • Postgraduate curriculum design and quality assurance

Publications & Pojects


  • Royal Academy of Engineering Strategic Project (2018): "Degree Apprenticeship Teaching and Learning"
  • WIHEA Strategic Project (2018): "Individual Exam Feedback: Logistics and Learning Gain"
  • Watson P, Cooke A, Thornby JA (2018) Girls' and women's participation in STEM: Past lessons and possible futures. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology [special issue] 10 (2)
  • La Velle L, Kendall A, Thornby JA, Levy R (2018) Research and Teacher Education: A UCET Position Paper; UCET Annual Conference (Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, 6-7 Nov 2018)
  • Lucas C, Noel A, Popham T, Thornby JA (2018) Towards a competency-based peer assessment for engineering group projects using skill descriptors; UK and Ireland EER Network Symposium (Portsmouth, UK, 1-2 Nov 2018)


  • IATL Strategic Project (2016): "Developing research-informed practice in teacher education"
  • Thornby JA (2017) The changing face of education. Warwick Journal of Education - Transforming Teaching 1
  • Thornby JA (2016) Research in Action - a collaborative approach to creating M-Level research projects with Secondary schools; UCET Annual Conference (Birmingham, UK, 8-9 Nov 2016)
  • Thornby JA, Mawson K, Haywood W (2016) Tackling the teacher shortage – near-peer mentoring of STEM students for outreach and engagement using trainee teachers; HEA STEM Conference (Nottingham, UK, 28-29 Jan 2016)

Other Positions