STEM Resources Revolutionize Primary School Teaching

The confidence and capability of the nation's primary school teachers to deliver Australia's science and mathematics curriculum is set to receive a huge boost, thanks to new evidence-based digital educative resources developed by the Australian Academy of Science.

The interactive and free online teaching toolboxes, funded by the Australian Government, were officially launched by Federal Education Minister the Hon. Jason Clare MP at Hughes Primary School in Canberra.

The Academy's Secretary for Education and Public Awareness, Professor Lyn Beazley, outlined why the new science (Primary Connections) and mathematics (reSolve) resources were needed.

"Today's teachers work so hard, but they are extremely time-poor, with many competing demands-this can lead to teachers preparing for what their students need to know, rather than designing how students will best learn," Professor Beazley said.

"Existing resources for primary school teachers aren't always meeting their needs and can mean that teachers don't have the opportunity to fully develop their own expertise. This is where the Academy's new resources are different."

Research conducted by the Academy to inform the development of the new resources also found current teacher professional learning programs may be disconnected from the reality of the classroom.

"With shifts in the education environment-amplified by the recent pandemic and rapid advancements in technology-we saw an opportunity to rethink our education programs through new delivery mechanisms and models," Professor Beazley said.

The Academy's President, Professor Chennupati Jagadish, said the new resources focus on supporting teachers to build their students' science knowledge and maths proficiency along with boosting the teacher's own professional learning.

"The Primary Connections and reSolve resources are a reimagining of how professional learning can be delivered to support teachers to build their capability and confidence," Professor Jagadish said.

"The resources are full of research-based strategies to build teachers' knowledge for teaching science and mathematics and can be adapted to meet the needs of the range of learners in the classroom," Professor Jagadish said.

The Australian Academy of Science has begun a national roadshow to demonstrate the new resources to teachers, education departments and organisations, and students studying to enter the profession, starting with the Northern Territory earlier this month.

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