Year

2023

Credit points

10

Prerequisites

Nil

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to establish a knowledge base for teachers in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment for science-focused learning within the integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classroom, based on content in the Australian Curriculum, and state and territory curriculum/syllabi (P-6 and 7-10). Teachers will explore concepts inherent in scientific investigations and will develop capabilities in designing practical hands-on activities using inquiry-based learning pedagogies in STEM contexts and creating learning experiences that are responsive to the needs of diverse learners. Teachers will also explore best practice strategies for teaching science in order to plan and implement major student group work projects, taking into account research related to students' alternative conceptions.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate knowledge (fluid and creative implementation) of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of teaching in an Integrated STEM classroom, and an in-depth understanding of how students learn in an Integrated STEM classroom (GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.1)

LO2 - Critically analyse, synthesise, develop, and implement a range of learning and teaching activities and sequences for primary (P-6) or secondary students (7-10), which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources (including project-based and inquiry learning as well as safe and ethical use of ICT resources) appropriate to these year levels and curriculum content in the Integrated STEM classroom (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4)

LO3 - Describe, design, evaluate and implement a variety of teaching strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. alternative conceptions, cognitive, physical, social, cultural) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities (from Australian Curriculum, Science and state and territory curriculum/syllabi) when teaching in an Integrated STEM classroom (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 3.3)

LO4 - Analyse the relationships between learning task design, student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, assessment, feedback and reporting in teaching Science in an Integrated STEM classroom and apply to the development and modification of own teaching practice (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 2.3, 5.1)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.

Australian Professional Standards For Teachers - Proficient

This unit provides participants with an additional level of proficiency as a classroom teacher with a specific level of expertise. The following standards are particularly addressed:

1.2    Structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn.

2.1    Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities.

2.2    Organise content into coherent, well-sequenced learning and teaching programs.

2.3    Design and implement learning and teaching programs using knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

2.6    Use effective teaching strategies to integrate ICT into learning and teaching programs to make selected content relevant and meaningful.

3.1   Set explicit, challenging and achievable learning goals for all students.

3.2    Plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning.

3.3    Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.

3.4    Select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning.

5.1    Develop, select and use informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies to assess student learning.

Content

The topics will include: 

  • Scientific concepts related to Earth and Space Science, Biological Science, Chemical Science, and Physical Science as well as Science as a Human Endeavour 
  • Incorporating general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities, including the integration of literacy and numeracy and local, state, territory and national perspectives when teaching Science in an Integrated STEM classroom 
  • Contemporary understandings of the unique ways in which students learn Science 
  • Key pedagogical approaches related to teaching and learning Science to promote problem solving, critical thinking and project-based learning  
  • Strategies to develop skills for innovation and creativity 
  • Formulation of questions that can be investigated using an integrated STEM approach 
  • Planning and evaluating sequences of learning activities when teaching Science in an Integrated STEM classroom  
  • Catering for a diverse range of learners when teaching Science in an Integrated STEM classroom 
  • Effective use of a range of resources for teaching, including ICTs and technologies to engage learners, specific to teaching Science in an Integrated STEM classroom  
  • A range of approaches and strategies for assessment, feedback, and reporting when teaching Science in Integrated STEM Education 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: This unit is offered in multi-mode and will be supported by a unit LEO (learning environment online) site. Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum, therefore an active learning approach is utilised to support graduates in their exploration and demonstration of achievement of the unit’s identified learning outcomes. 

A variety of techniques will be used, dependent upon the mode of enrolment. Regardless of face to face or online enrolment, a range of synchronous and asynchronous learning strategies will be used. These will include lectures, tutorials, workshops, student presentations, co-operative group work, experiential learning and authentic problem solving.  


Duration: 150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts, etc. The balance of the hours becomes private study. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements.(http://www.acu.edu.au/policy/student_policies/assessment_policy_and_assessment_procedures).

A variety of assessment procedures will be used to ascertain the extent to which graduates achieve stated outcomes. The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5,000 words. In order to pass this unit, teachers are required to submit or participate in all assessment tasks. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: 

Resource Folio and Discussion 

Create a folio of 8 – 10 practical activities that cover a range of curriculum topics and skills, and which focus on Science in a STEM classroom. 

Following each activity, discuss how the activity:  

  • addresses identified curriculum content,  
  • promotes student higher order thinking,  
  • caters for the needs of diverse learners, and  
  • addresses the cross curricular priorities and General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum (or state/territory curriculum equivalents) including the integration of literacy and numeracy. 

(word count approx. 2,500) 

50% 

LO1, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2: Option 1

Teaching Unit design 

Develop a unit of work during which students will engage with a Science themed STEM project. 

The lessons and project must demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of: 

  • the concepts and structure of Science in a classroom (LO1); 
  • the ways in which students learn using project-based learning in a STEM classroom (LO1); 
  • learning objectives, teaching content, strategies and assessment appropriate to the identified outcome/s, topic and year level (LO2);  
  • nominated pedagogical approach/es (LO2,3); 
  • sequencing (LO2); and 
  • appropriate resources and strategies, including ICT, to meet the identified strengths and needs of diverse learners and to promote critical and creative thinking (LO3) 

(word count approx. 2,500) 

50% 

LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2_Option 2 

Student Learning Resource 

Develop an ICT/digital learning resource for students, which requires them to gather and present evidence of their learning of a focus area of Science in a STEM classroom.  

The resource must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: 

  • the concepts and structure of Science in a STEM classroom (LO1); 
  • the ways in which students learn using project-based learning in a STEM classroom (LO1); 
  • learning objectives, teaching content, strategies and assessment appropriate to the identified outcome/s, topic and year level (LO2);  
  • a range of pedagogical approach/es (LO2,3); 
  • sequencing (LO2); and  
  • appropriate resources and strategies, including ICT, to meet the identified strengths and needs of diverse learners and to promote critical and creative thinking (LO3) 

(word count approx. 2,500) 

50% 

LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Curriculum Documents 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Australian Curriculum: F-10 Curriculum: Mathematics.   

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Australian Curriculum: F-10 Curriculum: Science. 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Australian Curriculum: F-10 Curriculum: Technologies.

 

General Integrated STEM Education 

Bawaka Country. Wright, S., Suchet-Pearson, S., Lloyd, K., Burarrwanga, L., Ganambarr, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M.& Maymuru, D. (2015). Working with and learning from Country: decentring human author-ity. Cultural Geographies22(2), pp.269-283. 

Bencze, J.L. (2010). Promoting student-led science and technology projects in elementary teacher education: Entry into core pedagogical practices through technological design. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 20(1), 43-62. 

Brown, R., Brown, J., Reardon, K., & Merrill, C. (2011). Understanding STEM: Current Perceptions. Technology and Engineering Teacher70(6), 5-9. 

Burarrwanga, Laklak, Ritjilili Ganambarr, Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs, Banbapuy Ganambarr, Djawundil Maymuru, Sarah Wright, Sandie Suchet-Pearson, and Kate Lloyd. (2013) Welcome to my country. Sydney: Allan & Unwin. 

Harrison,N., & Sellwood, J. (2016). Learning and teaching in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education (3rd ed.). Chapter 10. Learning from Country. Australia, Oxford University Press. 

Johnson, C.C. (2013). Conceptualizing integrated STEM education. School Science and Mathematics113(8), 367-368. 

Stohlmann, M., Moore, T. J., & Roehrig, G. H. (2012). Considerations for teaching integrated STEM education. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER)2(1), 4. 


Science Focus 

Asghar, A., Ellington, R., Rice, E., Johnson, F., & Prime, G. M. (2012). Supporting STEM education in secondary science contexts. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning6(2), 4. 

Fleer, M. (2015). Science for children. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press. 

Howitt, C., & Blake, E. (Eds.). (2010). Planting the seeds of science: A flexible, integrated and engaging resource for teacher of 3 to 8 year olds. Perth: Curtin University and Australian Learning and Teaching Council.  

Merrill, C., & Daugherty, J. (2010). STEM education and leadership: A mathematics and science partnership approach. Journal of Technology Education, 21(2). P.21-34. 

Skamp, K., & Preston, C. (Eds.). (2015). Teaching primary science constructively (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning. 

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