History of the project
The first stage of PrimaryConnections was to develop a conceptual model for the project. The model proposed a professional learning program supported by a comprehensive curriculum resource, designed to meet the needs of primary school teachers and students across Australia. This first stage was funded in late 2003 by the Australian Academy of Science through its Australian Foundation for Science.
A collaborative Reference Group was established with representatives from Commonwealth, state, territory, Catholic and independent education jurisdictions, education researchers, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australian Science Teachers Association, the Primary English Teaching Association and the Australian Literacy Educators' Association.
The PrimaryConnections concept received wide support in discussions with the Reference Group and the broader education community, and gained approval from state and territory education jurisdictions.
In August 2004, the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, announced support for PrimaryConnections and agreed to fund the second stage under the Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme. A Professional Learning Program and eight curriculum units were developed and trialled in 2005, by 106 trial teachers in 56 trial schools across Australia. The research component was designed and carried out by Edith Cowan University and La Trobe University.
The results of the research showed a strong positive impact on schools. A third stage of the project was therefore funded for 2006-2008. This included the publication of a total suite of nineteen curriculum units, training of Professional Learning Facilitators across the country, ongoing research and evaluation, and the Incorporation of Indigenous perspectives. The Reference Group was expanded to include representative from the Australian Council of Deans of Education and the Primary Principals Association. For further information about Stage 3 see: