Issues in teaching and learning science, ICT, and mathematics in rural and regional Western Australia

Year: 2007

Author: Trinidad, Suzanne, Frid, Sandra, Sparrow, Len, Treagust, David

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Issues in Teaching and Learning Science, ICT, and Mathematics in Rural and Regional Australia: A National Survey (Lyons et. al, 2006) highlights data from 2940 teachers, and 928 parents and caregivers in rural and remote areas of Australia and provides the largest amount of quantitative and qualitative data ever collected on factors relating to teaching and learning mathematics, science and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in such schools. Data collected from focus groups of parents, students, and teachers in each of the states and territories enriched and expanded on this national data source. This paper presents the focus group data collected from Western Australia as part of The National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR) project. Qualitative data were gathered from four case study schools (n= 23 teachers, 17 parents, and 20 students). A semi-structured interview protocol was used and the transcriptions were analysed and coded for recurring themes and emerging patterns. The four schools were selected to provide a range of sectors, types, and contexts to illustrate the diversity of schools within rural and remote classifications. The key issues and themes emerging covered a range of aspects concerning teaching in remote and regional Western Australia and indicated a number of direct and indirect influences for example, living environment, professional development and allocation of resources.