STEM Research Making a Difference for Schools

Researchers at Notre Dame’s School of Education, Fremantle, are playing a key role in multi-million dollar nationwide studies aimed at reframing and improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning in schools.

Their research responds to the need for a future workforce based in STEM and is designed to ensure Australia remains globally competitive.

Dr Derek Hurrell, Senior Lecturer in mathematics education, is leading Western Australia’s contribution to the three-year, $2.6 million project, Principals as STEM Leaders (PASL), which aims to support Principals in effectively driving whole-of-school collaborative efforts in STEM engagement and STEM teaching and learning.

The PASL project is innovative, underpinned by a STEM leadership capability set for principals as well as a draft framework for the way in which Principals’ capability aligns and interacts with STEM capability sets for teachers, students and university academics.

The PASL project began in 2018 and will conclude next year. To ensure it has relevance for all schools settings, all three systems and sectors have been invited to be involved, and the schools are being drawn from such geographically diverse regions as the Pilbara and Albany. These will be joined in the project by schools from across the Perth metropolitan area.

Lorraine Day, Senior Lecturer in mathematics education, was the only West Australian involved in a five-year, $1.3 million nationwide project aimed at building a sustainable, evidence-based, integrated learning  resource to support the development of algebraic, geometric and statistical reasoning in schools across Australia.

The project, Reframing Mathematical Futures II, for teachers and students in years 5-10, culminated in the development of formative assessment and teaching resources and the making of multiple videos which are used to inform teaching decisions and the choice of mathematics learning activities and resources.

Lorraine led the Algebraic Reasoning team, taking responsibility for the research conducted within four schools in Western Australia as well as the online mentoring of teachers throughout Australia.

Interested in making a difference in education? Find out more about Notre Dame's Education postgraduate programs.

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