STEM Education in Australia: vision and implementation.

Year: 2019

Author: Osman, Ann

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Three possible visions for STEM Education have emerged from an empirical PhD investigating STEM Education from an Australian perspective. These visions were developed from the analysis of data collected from a document analysis of published policies, curricula and literature; a Delphi study with members of the STEM Education community; and semi-structured interviews with prominent educators with an interest (research, publications, implementation and evaluation) in STEM Education.

The relevance to the Australian context of each of the three visions will be illustrated by referencing particular policies specific to STEM Education (for example, Chubb, I. (2013): Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the National Interest: A Strategic Approach. Canberra, Australia and The Education Council of Australia (2015): National STEM School Education Strategy. A comprehensive plan for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in Australia 2016-2026. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service).

In this presentation, the alignment of each vision with the curriculum conceptual framework that underpinned the empirical study will also be discussed. The eras of curriculum development are Empiricism, Progressivism, Nature of Science, Neo-progressivism and Standards based reform (DeBoer, G, E. (2014): The History of Science Curriculum Reform in the United States in Handbook of Research on Science Education). The context (political, economic and social) and, the goals and design principles of each era will be identified and used to suggest that implementation of STEM Education is multifaceted drawing on and the previous eras of curriculum development (and reform).

Some key issues related to STEM Education and education in general from an Australian perspective as raised by participants in this study will also be presented.