Dr. Mohd Syafiq Aiman Mat Noor


Research Fellow, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education


Dr. Mohd Syafiq Aiman Mat Noor is a Research Fellow in Science Education at Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education (SHBIE) and Comparative and International Education (CIE) research group, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He is working on a funded research project, which seeks to design an inquiry-based primary STEM curriculum for rural communities in Brunei using funds of knowledge and critical participatory action research approaches. This research aims to facilitate science teachers to develop a meaningful and contextual inquiry-based curriculum and to help children in rural communities in Brunei to engage more in STEM learning, thus engaging with the core topic of social justice. He is also co-leading an MTeach course on Primary Science Education and Research Methodology, supervising Masters dissertations, mentoring in-service science teachers in Brunei to engage with/in research, and supervising a research assistant on a research project.

Dr. Syafiq was awarded a PhD in Science Education from the UCL Institute of Education, a world-leading centre for research and teaching in the Social Sciences and Education. He was supervised by Professor Michael Reiss and was fortunate to reap the benefits of his wisdom, guidance and support. His PhD research focused on improving the pedagogical practices of teaching inquiry in the context of primary science. It offered a significant contribution to science education research, and a pedagogical framework for teaching inquiry in primary science within the centralised educational and curriculum context of Malaysia. His PhD research employed an action research philosophy and methodology, as well as directly impacted the education of the people of Bumiputeras in Malaysia.

Dr. Syafiq has extensive experience in the development of teaching and learning resources for students aged 4 to 18 as well as curriculum innovation and design. In his previous employment, he worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (Science Education) in the School of Education, College of Social Science, University of Lincoln. He worked on a collaborative Research 2 Practice Science Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, in conjunction with the University of Roehampton, York St John University, Kyra Research School and School-centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) centres. Through consultations with teachers, the project sought to develop research-informed teaching materials that illustrate the most effective ways of teaching about various problematic aspects of science, as identified by teachers in the National Curriculum for England, notably phases of the moon and evolution in primary science. The project synthesised hundreds of science education research studies to develop 40 exemplars of evidence-based lesson plans for primary and secondary science teachers. The research summaries and lesson plans are fully accessible via the project website that he developed: https://research-2-practice.org.uk.

In addition, Dr. Syafiq has also worked as a project manager and research officer for the ‘Funds of Knowledge’ project at the University of Dundee, which explores the STEM knowledge resources being developed by children and their families living in specific Scottish communities. The project aimed to support science teachers in helping children to find more meaning and relevance in science education and, as a result, to engage more with the subject. This project was funded by Education Scotland’s Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM Grants Programme as part of the Scottish Government’s STEM Education and Training Strategy.


PhD in Science Education, University College London (UCL), United Kingdom 2014 – 2019
MA with Distinction in Education (Science, Maths and Technology), Brunel University London, United Kingdom 2013 – 2014
Bachelor’s degree of Teaching with Honours (Primary Science Education), Institute of Teacher Education, Malaysia 2007 – 2012


Dr. Mohd Syafiq Aiman Mat Noor’s research interests lie in the field of science curriculum development, pedagogy and assessment, with a particular interest in the pedagogical approach of ‘nature of science’ and ‘scientific inquiry’. He has an interest in supporting science teachers to enhance science teaching using an inquiry approach, with a view that this pedagogical approach is at the heart of teaching and learning in science. He is also passionate about integrating research and classroom practices, and promoting teachers’ engagement with research. He seeks to inculcate a research culture in schools to advocate change, and to close the gap between research and practice.


Developing a funds of knowledge, inquiry-based primary STEM curriculum with rural communities in Brunei Darussalam: A critical participatory action research study

This research aims to develop and implement an inquiry-based STEM curriculum with two primary school teachers in rural communities of Brunei Darussalam using participatory action research and funds knowledge approaches. This is the first research of its kind in the Brunei Darussalam context. The research will be conducted in four main phases, namely: i) reconnaissance, ii) planning, iii) enacting the plan and observing how it works, and iv) reflection. Following these four innovative phases, the researchers, alongside the teachers, will attempt to answer four main research questions (see sub-section 3.1). Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected in the form of household visits, interviews, surveys and focus group interviews with children, teachers' notes and reflections, researchers' observational notes and recordings. These data will be collected over the course of one academic year. It is anticipated that the outcomes of the research will positively impact the participating teachers, children, and the researchers themselves. The research has three main deliverables: a funds of knowledge, inquiry-based STEM curriculum that will be made public and two full-length research articles to engage with the academic community.

Applications Invited
FIC - Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education, Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Scopus Publications


Google Scholar Citations


Google Scholar h-index

Scopus Publications


Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2022): ‘Curiouser and curiouser!’: a reconnaissance of my doctoral study as a ‘teacher-researcher’. PRACTICE: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/25783858.2022.2065924

Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2021). Assessing secondary students’ scientific literacy: A comparative study of suburban schools in England and Malaysia. Science Education International, 32(4), 343-352. https://doi.org/10.33828/sei.v32.i4.9

Mat Noor, M. S. A., & Shafee, A. (2021). The role of critical friends in action research: A framework for design and implementation. Practitioner Research, 3, 1-33. https://doi.org/10.32890/pr2021.3.1

Zainun, Z., & Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2021). The implementation of a bakery sales project during the COVID-19 pandemic to improve the employability of Semai indigenous students. International Journal of Action Research. 17(3), 244-267. https://doi.org/10.3224/ijar.v17i3.04

Muhamad Dah, N., & Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2021). Facilitating Pupils’ Questioning Skills in Open Inquiry Learning Through an Investigable Question Formulation Technique (IQFT). Journal of Mathematics and Science Teacher, 1(2), em005. https://doi.org/10.29333/mathsciteacher/11283


Zainun, Z., Mat Noor, M. S. A., Ahmad, S., & Razalli, A. R. (2021). Improving the employability of semai indigenous pupils through a bakery sales project during the Movement Control Order (MCO) of COVID-19 pandemic. Online Journal for TVET Practitioners, 6(2), 50-67. https://doi.org/10.30880/ojtp.2021.06.02.007

Muhamad Dah, N., & Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2021). The development of an Investigable Questions Formulation Technique (IQFT) in open inquiry learning. Malaysian Science & Mathematics Education Journal, 11(1), 103-120. https://doi.org/10.37134/jpsmm.vol11.1.10.2021

Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2020). Action research: Closing the gap between theory and practice. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Blog at https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/action-research-closing-the-gap-between-theory-and-practice

Mat Noor, M. S. A., Ahmad, S., & Zainudin, Z. (2020). Initiating a professional development on action research during the COVID-19 pandemic. EdArXiv. https://doi.org/10.35542/osf.io/3nd9k

Mat Noor, M. S. A., Boath, L., Dahal, T., Khan, S., Lapere, L., & Taylor, N. (2019). Teacher mediation of curriculum making: The role of reflexivity in the funds of knowledge approach. School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee Research and Scholarship Conference 2019. https://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/en/publications/teacher-mediation-of-curriculum-making-the-role-of-reflexivity-in

Dahal, T., Boath, L., Khan, S., Lapere, L., Mat Noor, M. S. A., & Taylor, N. (2019). Developing a contextualised curriculum through funds of knowledge approach: Reflections on the processes of the Knowledge Project. School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee Research and Scholarship Conference 2019. https://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/en/publications/developing-a-contextualised-curriculum-through-funds-of-knowledge

Mohd Salleh, N., & Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2015). Improving the quality of pupils’ response in science inquiry teaching: A participatory action research. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 191, 1310–1316. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.482

Mat Noor, M. S. A. (2014). Scientific Enquiry and Its Place in the National Curriculum. In R. Malthouse (Ed.), Writing your MA literature review: Contemporary education studies (pp. 241-262). London: Thalassa Publishing.


InquiryLab: A research-based professional development mentorship programme for science teachers. https://inquirylab.org