Event Details

Date & Time: 
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm
Room: 
Room 201, Level 2, Cycad Building (1018)
Event Photos: 

A pedagogical approach to stem the crisis

Science and mathematics education equips students with knowledge and skills that are critical to attain their full potential as citizens, to contribute to a rapidly evolving technological world and to translate these skills into a better quality of life. Research shows these highly skilled adults are several times more likely to be employed, to earn an above average salary, to be in good health, trust others, and perceive they are participants rather than recipients of political processes than adults that are poorly skilled. Skills of equipped citizens therefore impact fairness and integrity into public policy. However, international and national high stakes tests show that there is a steady and significant decline in the science and mathematics proficiencies of Australian middle years’ students over the past ten years. The number of top-performing students that can use abstract scientific ideas to explain unfamiliar complex phenomena are also in decline, while low performing students in science that are unable to use basic scientific knowledge to interpret data and draw scientific conclusions are steadily rising. 

Inquiry-based teaching and learning is now mandated by the Australian Curriculum in order to foster science and mathematics proficiencies. In Queensland teachers are provided with inquiry science curriculum resources without the training in pedagogical skills to support their implementation. This seminar will discuss results from several empirical studies conducted at the University of Queensland confirming the effectiveness of training teachers in a collaborative philosophical inquiry pedagogical approach for developing science and mathematics proficiencies. 

About the presenter

Dr Kim Nichols is a Senior Lecturer in Science Education within the School of Education at The University of Queensland. Kim's research focuses on the impacts of inquiry pedagogy and curriculum on science teaching and learning, the use of digital technologies and multimodal representations to communicate scientific information effectively, and fostering scientific literacy through enhancement of student engagement in STEM.