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Research in Science Education

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 219–242 | Cite as

Technology-Enhanced Science Partnership Initiative: Impact on Secondary Science Teachers

  • Wan NgEmail author
  • Jennifer Fergusson
Article
  • 211 Downloads

Abstract

The issue of student disengagement in school science continues to pose a threat to lifting the participation rates of students undertaking STEM courses and careers in Australia and other countries globally. In Australia, several science initiatives to reverse the problem have been funded over the last two decades. Many of these initiatives involve partnerships with scientists, science educators and with industries, as is the case in this paper. The research in this paper investigated a recent partnership initiative between secondary science teachers, scientists and an educational technology company to produce science e-modules on adaptive learning platforms, enabling students to engage in personalised, inquiry-based learning and the investigation of real-world problems. One of the objectives of the partnership project was to build theoretical and pedagogical skills in teachers to deliver science by exposing them to new ways of engaging students with new digital tools, for example analytics. Using a mixed methods approach, the research investigated science teachers’ pedagogical involvement in the partnership project and their perceptions of the project’s impact on their teaching and students’ learning. The findings indicate that the teachers believed that new technology could enhance their teaching and students’ learning and that while their students were motivated by the online modules, there was still a need for scaffolding for many of the students. The effectiveness of this would depend on the teachers’ ability to internalise the new technological and content knowledge resulting from the partnership and realign them with their existing pedagogical framework. The research is significant in identifying elements for successful partnership projects as well as challenges that need to be considered. It is significant in facilitating continuous discourse about new evidence-based pedagogical approaches to science education in engaging students to learn STEM subjects in a twenty-first century digitally connected future that is focused on learning at a personal level.

Keywords

Science partnership project STEM education Science e-modules Secondary science teachers TPACK 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Australian Government funded Australian Mathematics and Science Partnership Program. The authors wish to thank all involved in the project: Dr. Carol Oliver, Professor Steven Sherwood, Dr. Angela Maharaj and Dr. Louise Lutze-Mann from the University of New South Wales, Associate Prof. Allison Imrie from the University of Western Australia, Prof. Joe Shapter, Prof. Martin Westwell and Diana Pham from Flinders University and Dr. Dror Ben-Naim and Jacqui Hayes from Smart Sparrow.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia

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