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Vaughan Prain and Russell Tytler

Peter Hubber and Russell Tytler

Brigid Freeman, Simon Marginson and Russell Tytler


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and research are increasingly recognized globally as fundamental to national development and productivity, economic competitiveness and societal wellbeing. There has been a global turn to STEM that is clearly evident in government efforts worldwide to elaborate STEM policy governing school science and mathematics, and tertiary level education and research in the STEM disciplines. This shift is also reflected in emerging research priorities that are most frequently conceived in STEM terms, underpinned by commitments to internationalization and multidisciplinarity. This chapter explores STEM policies and programs from an international perspective extending from the Anglosphere, East Asia, Western Europe and Latin America to the Middle East. We identify discernible trends and parallels regarding government STEM policy and structural responses, school and tertiary level STEM education participation, comparative performance measured by international assessments such as PISA and TIMMS, STEM research and innovation, and issues concerning gender and under-represented groups. The chapter examines various programs and solutions including school-level curriculum and pedagogy reform to enhance science and mathematics participation and performance, teaching-related initiatives, and strategies at the tertiary-level to redress current systemic disparities.

Russell Tytler, Peter Hubber and Vaughan Prain

Edited by Russell Tytler, Vaughan Prain, Peter Hubber and Bruce Waldrip

Current research into student learning in science has shifted attention from the traditional cognitivist perspectives of conceptual change to socio-cultural and semiotic perspectives that characterize learning in terms of induction into disciplinary literacy practices. This book builds on recent interest in the role of representations in learning to argue for a pedagogical practice based on students actively generating and exploring representations. The book describes a sustained inquiry in which the authors worked with primary and secondary teachers of science, on key topics identified as problematic in the research literature. Data from classroom video, teacher interviews and student artifacts were used to develop and validate a set of pedagogical principles and explore student learning and teacher change issues. The authors argue the theoretical and practical case for a representational focus. The pedagogical approach is illustrated and explored in terms of the role of representation to support quality student learning in science. Separate chapters address the implications of this perspective and practice for structuring sequences around different concepts, reasoning and inquiry in science, models and model based reasoning, the nature of concepts and learning, teacher change, and assessment. The authors argue that this representational focus leads to significantly enhanced student learning, and has the effect of offering new and productive perspectives and approaches for a number of contemporary strands of thinking in science education including conceptual change, inquiry, scientific literacy, and a focus on the epistemic nature of science.

Russell Tytler, Vaughan Prain, Peter Hubber and Bruce Waldrip

Russell Tytler, Peter Hubber, Vaughan Prain and Bruce Waldrip