Australian teachers’ views on how primary science education can be improved

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Abstract

Teachers are crucial to bridging the theory-praxis divide in science education by utilising evidence-based teaching practices to improve outcomes for their learners. However, the perspectives of primary teachers have seldom been considered beyond the confines of specific professional development programs. This paper aims to explore Australian primary teachers’ beliefs about how primary science education could be improved. A sample of 165 primary educators responded to an open-ended digital survey prompt. The results showed that teachers viewed themselves and their colleagues as central to the improvement of primary science education as evidenced by the most prominent themes of Professional Development (47.27%), Funding-Resources (37.58%), Classroom Practice (21.82%) and Personal-Teacher Improvement (21.21%). Curiously, university did not feature strongly, suggesting the participants may hold neutral views regarding the impact of universities on primary science education. The findings should serve as a catalyst for future research and engagement with primary teachers. Universities could expand their roles in building relationships with and providing accessible professional development to a group of primary teachers who, quite rightly, view themselves as key to improving primary science education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2023

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