Can we sustain primary science and technology education in school systems by casting teachers as e-designers? The DESCANT-SciTech Project

Year: 2005

Author: Schaverien, Lynette

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The disciplines of Science and Technology present well recognised professional development challenges for primary teachers. We focus in this paper on the particular challenge of systemic, sustainable professional renewal, for large, geographically dispersed but centralised education systems, and on whether, and if so, how, a novel e-learning mediated strategy might address that challenge. We report on the beginning phase of an ARC Linkage Project, the DESCANT-SciTech Project (Designing e-learning systems to celebrate and nurture teaching in Science and Technology) in which a foundation cohort of teachers was assisted to develop an e-learning environment for the communal professional development of future cohorts of their peer teachers. We describe and analyse the development of these teachers' environment, ready for a second and third cohort of teachers to engage with it. We conclude speculatively, anticipating some key implications of this case study for the continued health and sustenance of Science and Technology teaching, from generation to generation - implications that will be tested in the next project phase.