Changing STEM and Entrepreneurial Thinking Teaching Practices and Pedagogy Through a Professional Learning Program
With the recent endorsement of STEM education as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda by the Australian Government, the challenge facing educators is how to meaningfully embed STEM-related knowledge, skills, and dispositions in all levels of schooling. Educators and researchers are becoming increasingly interested in investigating how to support students’ learning in STEM and what teaching approaches are most conducive for developing investigative, design, and reasoning skills. Such consideration of STEM in education acknowledges a proliferation of multiple understandings of STEM education and the emerging diversity of approaches to STEM teaching. Teachers need to be supported to develop their own approach within the contexts of their own school and learning needs. This chapter reports on teachers from primary schools in Victoria who were involved in a professional learning program specifically designed to build their confidence and capacity for teaching STEM through inquiry-based approaches. Frameworks relating to STEM curriculum development and teacher and school change provided structure and focus for the program. This chapter draws on data of changing teacher STEM pedagogy to generate insight into the diverse responses that schools can have to professional learning in STEM and entrepreneurial thinking. The findings of the study indicate the importance of research-informed frameworks that are flexible enough to be applied to schools at different stages of STEM implementation.
KeywordsSTEM education Entrepreneurial thinking Professional learning Primary schools Teacher learning STEM curriculum
We acknowledge the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, Australia, for funding this project as well as Skilling the Bay and Upstart Challenge for their support of this project. We would also like to thank the participating teachers who are open to new ways of working and embracing challenges brought by the STEM agenda.
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