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Interest-based science inquiry: Investigating how primary teachers can develop their students' interest in science

Project Member(s): Pressick-Kilborn, K.

Start year: 2014

Summary: With international concern about declines in students choosing to study STEM-related subjects, there is a need to examine STEM education from K-12. Evidence points to disengagement in STEM from an increasingly young age (Martin et al, 2012). Aims: 1) To investigate what roles primary teachers can play in creating a more viable future for science-related learning. 2) To establish how primary teachers identify students┬┐ interest in science and respond to that in classroom teaching to promote engagement. 3) To collaborate with teachers by drawing on research on interest development to develop a set of guiding instructional design principles that revise and expand upon those proposed in my PhD thesis (Pressick-Kilborn, 2010). The project will take a Design-Based Research approach (Anderson & Shattuck, 2011). Alignment with UTS research strategy: 1) Research collaboration with professional partners to deliver a practical solution to a problem facing science education internationally. 2) Strengthening the teaching and research nexus. 3) Contribution to Learning and Change in a key research area, the place of STEM in teaching futures.

Keywords: primary/elementary school science education; interest; design-based research; student engagement; classroom-based research

FOR Codes: Learner and Learning Processes, Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum, Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy, Primary Education (excl. Maori), Teacher and Instructor Development