Russell`s Skilling the Bay talk March 21s
STEM education at Deakin
Professor of Science Education
Marginson, S., Tytler, R.,
Freeman, B., & Roberts, K.
(2013). STEM: Country
comparisons. Melbourne: The
Australian Council of Learned
Lessons from strong performing countries
• Work to increase status of mathematics and science teachers
through career pathway provision based on performance in
teaching and disciplinary leadership
• Increase commitment to disciplinary strength of teachers –
eliminate out of field incidence, develop discipline focused PD.
• Maintain and extend the focus on reform of classroom practice
based on inquiry, problem solving, creativity (incorporate art &
• Strong focus on under represented groups (low SES,
• Renewed focus on gender participation
Vision of the Chief Scientist
• To bring school science and mathematics practices closer to the
practice of professionals working in the field
Re-imagining Science Education:
Foreword by Jim Peacock:
The way in which I learned science at
school does not meet the needs of today’s
students. In my lifetime, scientific research
has broadened from an individual- oriented
approach to team-based work and
collaboration with other researchers and
industry. … A different skills set is needed
in today’s scientists.
School science education is operating in a
world where students ‘connect’ to students
thousands of kilometres away in real time
through instant messaging and they can
escape to virtual internet worlds. Traditional
science education is not fruitful in such an
Science is a constantly evolving field. Thus,
much of the content knowledge I learned in
school and university was not directly used
in my career as a plant scientist.
Science Education research at Deakin
REMSTEP – Reconceptualising Mathematics and Science Teacher Education to
reflect contemporary science practices.
RILS – the Role of Representation in Learning Science
CRISP – Working with teachers to explore the implementation of a guided
inquiry pedagogy based on representation construction. Teacher learning focus.
iSTELR – developing a digital pedagogy based on representation construction
PRIMSS – a program to support specialist teachers of primary science. Teacher
and school change processes.
Teaching across subject boundaries (TASB) – working with schools to identify
ways of supporting teachers teaching outside their area of expertise.
STEPS (Science Teacher Education Partnerships with Schools). Developed a
partnership model for how universities (and other groups) can work with schools
Deakin’s Institute of Frontier Materials (IFM)
• PhD students paired with chemistry teacher education students
to develop resources based on current research
• Working with scientists and PhD students to generate digital
resources for use with teacher education students and schools.
This will include:
! Video representations of the work of IFM
! Video of a carbon fibre researcher practicing and explaining their
problem and approaches
! Activities to exemplify the problem solving and also the conceptual
content of the research – structure and properties of composite
Dimensions of STEM practice
The links between scientific materials research and engineering design
The way scientists deal with real problems (e.g. corrosion in buried pipes)
by isolating key features (material composition, nature of environment)
The successive refinement of the problem and understandings through
shaping of experimental conditions (modeling and refining the real world
Modeling and representing multi modally at macro, meso and micro levels
Devising instrumentation to measure the material properties
Progressively developing more abstract, mathematical models
Developing explanations involving material structure by developing submicro level models, and instruments such as electron microscopy.
MODELLING MATERIAL BEHAVIOUR Mul3-‐scale Modelling Summative assessment provided
opportunities for students to
generate and interpret
Nearly all our subjects now
are big scrapbooks.
Because, and we explained
to the parents at the start of
the year, if you expect your
students to come home
with big neat books, then
you’re in the wrong school.
CRISP: Working with teams of teachers
• Workshop on inquiry teaching through representation
• Planning meeting to discuss topic and resources. Strong focus
on the science concepts and representations.
• Pre- (and post-) test – online for laptop schools.
• Video capture by teachers of key lessons and discussion of
teaching and learning strategies.
• Support for further planning meetings
• Collect student work. Interviews with students and teachers.
• Student resilience and optimism – Gaye Williams
• Teacher professional learning through lesson study approaches
– collaborative lesson planning – Susie Groves, Colleen Vale
• Student reasoning in mathematics
• Teacher noticing- Wanty Widjaja, Jun Li, LiHua Xu