Primary Connections sparks a love of science: report
11 July 2012
The Australian Academy of Science’s primary school education program, Primary Connections: Linking Science with Literacy, increases teacher confidence and student interest in science, new research has shown.
The inquiry-based system – which pairs professional development for teachers with award-winning curriculum resources – enhances students’ inquiry skills, conceptual development and enjoyment of science, according to the Teaching Primary Science report by Adjunct Professor Keith Skamp, of the School of Education, Southern Cross University.
“We studied teacher responses to the program over more than six years and across different Australian demographics and found that in the vast majority of cases, teachers using Primary Connections were teaching more investigative science,” Professor Skamp said.
“Teachers were really enjoying teaching science - even reporting that the program has ignited in them a passion for science. The quality of science teaching clearly improved under this program.
“At a time when Australian students’ interest in science is declining, Primary Connections is making a real difference.”
Professor Skamp will release the findings of his report today at CONASTA, the national conference of the Australian Science Teachers Association, in Canberra.
Primary Connections Director Shelley Peers said the Skamp report provided important feedback on the program’s effectiveness.
“It is an important tool which we will use to inform the future development of Primary Connections teacher training and curriculum resources,” Ms Peers said.
“It’s already a great program that is recognised internationally: this report will help us make it better.
“The report will also help us to advise policy makers about initiatives to support the uptake of the national curriculum.”
Primary Connections is in more than 55 per cent of Australian primary schools. The Australian Academy of Science’s goal is for all Australian schools to implement the program.
Professor Skamp and Ms Peers will present the report at CONASTA at 11.45 am to 12.45 pm at Manning Clark Lecture Theatre 5, Australian National University.
Media are welcome to attend.
The report is available at http://www.science.org.au/primaryconnections/research-and-evaluation/teaching-ps.html
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