If you were to peer into primary school classroom across Australia and New Zealand, you would be forgiven for thinking that STEM education was synonymous with coding and digital technologies. However, while these aspects are important, technology alone does not reflect the broad learning opportunities afforded by STEM.
In countering this narrow approach, STEM Education in Primary Classrooms offers a platform for research that innovates, excites and challenges the status quo. It provides educators with innovative and up-to-date research into how to meaningfully and authentically embed STEM into existing classroom practices. It incorporates accurate explanations of STEM as an integrated approach to solving real-world problems, including social issues, along with case studies and stories to bring practice to life in evidence-informed ways.
This book showcases the impact of a broader approach to STEM in the primary classroom through Australian and New Zealand-based research that will challenge current teaching practice. As such this book will be of interest to pre- and in-service primary school teachers, along with researchers and postgraduate students in the STEM education field.
Congratulations to the authors and editors for creating an accessible and research-informed account of why we must and how we can implement an integrated approach to STEM education for primary school students. The various examples and case studies richly illustrate how we can embed interdisciplinary problem-solving tasks using authentic contexts and inquiry pedagogies into the curriculum and develop the capabilities required for living and working in the 4th industrial revolution
Emeritus Professor Mark Hackling, Edith Cowan University
What does the future hold? Whatever direction it takes, it is a sure bet that science, technology, engineering and mathematics will have a critical role. Citizens will have to decide what is acceptable, useful and beneficial and what is not. STEM education is the key to wise choices and starting early to prepare all Australians with capacity to make those choices is critical. This is a great book that has deep analytical insights from practitioners and researchers and shows us the way. Let’s go.
Emeritus Professor Ian Chubb, Former Chief Scientist of Australia, AC FAA FTSE
This book is distinctive in highlighting how science education can be a generative starting point for STEM education in primary school settings. The chapters offer rich examples of this through a focus on pedagogy, partnerships, professional development and possibilities. I strongly recommend the book to teachers and researchers – they will find much to pique their interest and support their thinking.
Professor Bronwen Cowie, Associate Dean Research, Education Division, The University of Waikato, New Zealand
Lists of Figures and Tables
List of Contributors
Foreword Professor Paul Bertsch, Queensland Chief Scientist
Chapter 1. More Than Coding: Positioning STEM Education in Policy and Practice Angela Fitzgerald, Carole Haeusler and Linda Pfeiffer
Chapter 2. Engaging Diverse Students in STEM: The Five Dimensions Framework Kimberley Wilson
Chapter 3. Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning in Primary STEM Amanda Woods-McConney, Andrew McConney And Keryn Sturrock
Chapter 4. Learning Mathematics Through STEM in A Play Based Classroom Paula Mildenhall and Barbara Sherriff
Chapter 5. A Case Study of a University-Industry STEM Partnership in Regional Queensland Dr Linda Pfeiffer and Kathryn Tabone
Chapter 6. Online Citizen Science in the Classroom: Engaging with Real Science and STEM to Develop Capabilities for Citizenship Dayle Anderson, Markus Luczak-Roesch, Cathal Doyle, Yevgeniya (Jane) Li, Brigitte Glasson, Cameron Pierson, Dianne Christenson, Carol Brieseman, Melissa Coton and Matt Boucher
Chapter 7. School-University Partnerships as Rich STEM Learning Contexts for Pre-Service Teachers Working with Primary Students Kimberley Pressick-Kilborn and Anne Prescott
Chapter 8. What Do Primary Teachers Think About STEM Education? Exploring Cross-Cultural Perspectives Kathy Smith, Sindu George and Jennifer Mansfield
Chapter 9. The Role of the Maker Faire in STEM Engagement: Messages for Teacher Professional Development Coral Campbell, Linda Hobbs and Lihua Xu
Chapter 10. More Than S.T.E.M.: Connecting Students’ Learning to Community Through Eco-Justice Kathryn Paige, Lisa O’Keeffe and David Lloyd
Chapter 11. Informal Spaces for STEM Learning and Teaching: STEM Clubs Angela Fitzgerald, Tania Leach, Kate Davis, Neil Martin and Shelley Dunlop