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Press articles

Teaher Education Review Podcast #083 – Inside ReMSTEP

Ollie Lovell, Teaher Education Review, January 8, 2017

Ollie Lovell presents a series of interviews from the Reconceptualising Mathematics and Science teacher Education Program, which capped off a multi-year project connecting pre-service teachers with people working in the fields of maths and science.

Three ways to boost science performance in Australian schools

Russel Tytler, The Coversation, December 2, 2016

The latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) results has predictably triggered a round of national soul-searching as the realisation dawns that in both mathematics and science we are increasingly falling behind countries traditionally regarded as our inferiors.

Discovering contemporary maths and science

Jo Earp, www.teachermagazine.com.au, November 24, 2016

Teacher magazine's ReMSTEP conference 2016 wrap up.

Why is it so hard to recruit good maths and science teachers?

Stephen Dinham, The Conversation, March 8, 2016

Prof Stephen Dinham discusses the a number of interrelated factors that form a self-perpetuating cycle contribute to this situation.

Program helps teachers and students fight fear of maths by delving into real-world problems

Timna Jacks, The Age, November 13, 2015

How do you overcome a fear of maths? The question is more confronting for budding teachers: how do you overcome a fear of teaching maths?

Boosting science and maths study starts in primary school

Holly Bennett, Pursuit, November 13, 2015

The numbers of students studying maths and science at senior secondary and tertiary levels are in terminal decline, but specialist primary teachers may offer a vital breakthrough.

The great man shortage hits Australian classrooms

Liz Porter, The Brisbane Times, November 8, 2015

A century ago, men dominated teaching but a decline in respect for teachers and a fall in relative pay rates has seen fewer enter the profession. Meet three men who love the classroom.

Is it time to start reconceptualising maths and science teacher education?

Jenny Pesina and Geraldine Carroll, Professional Educator, Vol13, Issue5, October 2014

Download Article (pdf 613KB)

Every child needs to love science to thrive

Prof Ian Chubb, The Age, May 20, 2015

A world utterly reliant on science will need all children to have a reasonable grasp of the subject. So, why are we failing to inspire them?

Is it time for specialist maths and science teachers in the primary classroom?

The Voice, August 11, 2014

This article was drawn from a paper to delivered by Professor Stephen Dinham at the Australian College of Educators national conference in September 2014.

Call for maths, science expert teachers to lift primary grade

Matthew Knott, The Sydney Morning Herald, July 9, 2014

The traditional role of the primary school teacher as a jack-of-all trades should be scrapped because too many teachers have deficient mathematics and science skills, one education body says.

Feature article

Reform in Science Education and Science Teacher Learning – Are We There Yet?

Jenny Pesina, ReMSTEP Educational Designer, July 22nd, 2015

On July 21st, 2015 the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the Reconceptualising Mathematics and Science Teacher Education Programs (ReMSTEP) project team had a pleasure of co-hosting a visit of Professor Jan H. Van Driel, Professor of Science Education and Director of ICLON (Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching).

Professor Van Driel gave a seminar at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education on the topic of “Reform in Science Education and Science Teacher Learning”.

Professor Jan H. Van Driel of Leiden University, with Professor David Clarke and Professor Stephen Dinham of The University of Melbourne

Professor Jan H. Van Driel of Leiden University (center), with Professor David Clarke and Professor Stephen Dinham of The University of Melbourne

A number of key issues, relating to the historical and current challenges in science education reform and science teacher learning were discussed; among these were the notion of the overloaded science curriculum, conceptual learning problems and misconceptions relating to learning of science at schools. The dominance of traditional teaching methods and decrease in students’ attitudes and interest, especially in secondary education were also highlighted. Professor Van Driel commented on the way “science is still taught as there is always one right answer”.

science is still taught as there is always one right answer

Among the ways of addressing these issues were curriculum-based innovations, such as the introduction of new subjects and innovations inside the classrooms. These innovations require science teachers to further develop their knowledge, beliefs and practice. Van Driel presented a few research-based examples of how science teachers can be engaged to implement innovations successfully.

Download Seminar Slides (pdf 767KB)


The issues Professor Van Driel raised are very familiar to the ReMSTEP project team. ReMSTEP is embarking on these challenges by introducing science and mathematics specialist pathways in the Master of Teaching (Primary) at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education as well as a number of innovatively taught science and mathematics electives.

Deakin and Melbourne Universities are working with Specialist Science Centres and cultural institutions like Museum Victoria to expose the pre-service teachers to the context-rich learning and teaching.

At La Trobe University, ReMSTEP team is working with Australian Maths and Science Partnership, College of Science Health and Engineering as well as developing illustrations of practice in inquiry science.

Monash University is planning for a new schools outreach program “Monash Science Team” for 2016 and are delivering two new science units, jointly devloped by the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education, in Semseter 2 2015.

ReMSTEP team hopes that the pre-service teachers will, in turn, introduce their students to the rich learning experiences they are currently being exposed to themselves. After all, it is all part of the pre-service teachers’ ability “to make sense of innovations and implement them in their practice” (Van Driel, J.H., 2015).

Footnotes:

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