An analysis of Australian STEM education strategies

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Abstract

In December 2015 the Australian state and territory governments endorsed the ‘National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026’. Since then, the individual jurisdictions have released their own STEM education strategies that aim to improve student STEM capabilities and aspirations. This paper analyses the various Australian STEM education strategies in relation to six themes informed by research into effective STEM education: STEM capabilities; STEM dispositions; STEM educational practices; Equity; Trajectories; and Educator capacities. The analysis shows that Australia’s STEM education strategies focus on actions aimed at building student STEM capabilities, particularly through inquiry and problem based learning, and enhancing educator capacity. The strategies recognise student STEM learning trajectories and pay particular attention to the importance of early childhood STEM education, as well as the ways in which students’ potential career pathways might be influenced. However, less emphasis is placed on supporting key transitions in STEM education, developing student STEM dispositions, and addressing equity issues in STEM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-139
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy Futures in Education
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date14 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2019

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abstract = "In December 2015 the Australian state and territory governments endorsed the ‘National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026’. Since then, the individual jurisdictions have released their own STEM education strategies that aim to improve student STEM capabilities and aspirations. This paper analyses the various Australian STEM education strategies in relation to six themes informed by research into effective STEM education: STEM capabilities; STEM dispositions; STEM educational practices; Equity; Trajectories; and Educator capacities. The analysis shows that Australia’s STEM education strategies focus on actions aimed at building student STEM capabilities, particularly through inquiry and problem based learning, and enhancing educator capacity. The strategies recognise student STEM learning trajectories and pay particular attention to the importance of early childhood STEM education, as well as the ways in which students’ potential career pathways might be influenced. However, less emphasis is placed on supporting key transitions in STEM education, developing student STEM dispositions, and addressing equity issues in STEM.",
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An analysis of Australian STEM education strategies. / Murphy, Steven; MacDonald, Amy; Danaia, Lena; Wang, Cen.

In: Policy Futures in Education, Vol. 17, No. 2, 01.02.2019, p. 122-139.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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