To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Around the world, some schools are starting to shift from funnelling young people towards a job or profession towards preparing them to navigate an uncertain future of work. Many such schools are found in the United States, where charter schools, magnet schools and regular public schools have taken the opportunity to develop their curriculum and pedagogy around a specific purpose. Some schools shape their currriculum with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), using this concept to shift away from discrete school subejcts towards a more integrated understanding of how knowledge and skills are combined in rapidly changing fields of work. Other schools extend this focus to STEAM, including the Arts, emphasising that creativity, diversity and humanity are core parts of innovation. Others take a different tack entirely, focusing on democracy or social justice. These schools demonstrate what it looks like to not only teach young peple about these concepts but give them a chance to practise democracy and justice in their daily decision-making.
STEM Education in the Primary School introduces pre-service teachers to the theory, skills and practice of teaching STEM through a project-based learning approach. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are presented as professions, mindsets and practices, and each element of STEM is integrated with the Australian Curriculum through a school garden project case study. Popular STEM topic areas, such as health, shelter and space, are explored using tested and age-appropriate project examples that illustrate the translation of STEM ideas to classroom practice. This textbook connects current research in STEM education to teaching practice through detailed discussion of topics including assessment, learning spaces, community and STEM futures. Encouraging readers to consolidate their knowledge, the text is supported by short-answer and reflection questions, information boxes and real-world scenarios. Suggested activities and downloadable templates in the VitalSource enhanced eBook provide guidance for readers when implementing projects and practices in their classroom.
What is the future of STEM education and how will it be enacted and viewed over the next decade? This chapter uses the 100-plus years of collective STEM education wisdom of the authors to predict the future of STEM in Australian primary schools. The chapter first presents a short historical review of the ascent of STEM from its birth and then maps its current trajectory. Next it discusses careers of the future and the need for both STEM skills and STEM content knowledge, with an emphasis on the former. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are discussed as a context for the globalisation of STEM education, followed by a discussion of future trends spurred by the use of innovative technologies. Lastly, the chapter focuses on how to develop your own STEM identity.
This chapter is about technologies and how this subject area is taught in Australian primary schools. The first section presents an overview of technology as a discipline. Its connections with engineering and other disciplines are also highlighted. Two examples of technologies developed by Australians are presented to demonstrate how ideas are transformed into products in the real world. The second section deals with technology education and the expectations of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies. The third section shows the connections between the theories of constructivism and constructionism, and how they relate to the delivery of the curriculum.
This chapter is about mathematics and how it is taught in Australian primary schools. Teachers in the current education landscape need to reinvent the wheel by bringing about a change to some existing classroom practices in mathematics, and must make the subject-matter as meaningful to students’ lives as possible. The first section of this chapter presents an overview of mathematics as a discipline and how it is applied in the real world. The second sections deals with mathematics education, with some key details on the intentions and expectations of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. The next section shows the connections between learning theories and how they can be applied to concepts from the Australian Curriculum. The chapter concludes with some ideas on how the curriculum can be applied through a Garden Challenge project.
Research suggests that learning and engagement are enhanced when students are presented with design challenges that enable them to apply their knowledge and skills of coding to create tangible products. In contrast, when coding concepts are taught in isolation, the intended outcomes are not delivered as anticipated. Researchers have reported that connecting coding with social sciences and the arts results in significant improvements in students' understanding of computational practices and concepts, and enhanced levels of motivation.This chapter presents three integrated STEM projects for Years F–2, 3–4 and 5–6 where students are encouraged to develop their coding skills within a STEM context. These projects showcase how tangible outcomes can be delivered by integrating knowledge and understanding from science, mathematics, and design and technologies into coding activities.
Human health in primary school contexts is a perfect launching pad for integrating STEM as well as health and physical education learning outcomes, and should focus on promoting and sustaining students' emotional, physical and social wellbeing. The environment, lifestyle choices, accidents and disease are significant factors influencing human health, and for primary-aged children it is important that learning opportunities link these areas to their out-of-school lives. Cross-cultural understandings are understood and reinforced when in-school and out-of-school experiences are integrated, and they also provide opportunities for developing students' future decision-making capabilities. This chapter presents some common alternative conceptions associated with human health, and describes three integrated STEM projects linked to current issues in primary school. The F–2 project looks at designing and producing a hat for a pet, the 3–4 project involves an optimal exercise program, and the 5–6 project focuses on developing an online social media platform for tweens.
Science is one of eight learning areas in the Australian Curriculum. In this chapter, the world of scientists and what they do is explained and then explored within the context of Foundation to Year 6 settings. Using Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA, 2019) documents and a science concepts lens, relevant knowledge and understanding, skills and human endeavours for the years F–2, 3–4 and 5–6 are identified and mapped to a range of activities in a Garden Challenge project to provide examples of authentic, engaging learning opportunities for students that reflect how scientists work and think when tackling problems. This chapter takes you through the process of how to work and think as scientists do, and how to apply these strategies in Australian primary school classrooms.
Should cars be fuelled by petrol or electricity? Should houses use electricity sourced from a renewable resource such as solar panels, or from a coal-fired power station? Energy is a significant topic from both a global and local perspective, with topical election issues such as these polarising the community. Energy cannot be seen directly – we can only experience its effects as it interacts with living things and materials, In the F–6 energy learnng progression in the Australian Curriculum, there is a focus on sound energy in Years F–2, on heat energy in Years 3–4 and on electrical energy in Years 5–6. Investigating the properties of a range of energy forms such as light, sound, heat, movement and electrical energy, and how they interact with materials, provides students with entry points to identify solutions to real-life issues. This chapter presents some common alternative conceptions associated withenergy, then describes three integrated STEM projects for primary school children.
“How should STEM be presented to students? What are the evidence-informed approaches currently being used in Australia and around the world? Given that Australia doesn’t have an actual STEM curriculum, what should you do? What is ‘best practice#x2019; for implementing STEM education in schools?
This chapter covers all these questions and more. It outlines a range of economic, historical and pedagogical factors that have led to current implementation strategies for integrated STEM education in schools. It clarifies the purpose of STEM education, and poses questions for you to discuss with your colleagues. By the end of the chapter you should have a better understanding of how to design and implement a range of small-scale activities that involve STEM education in some way, with the goal of moving towards an interdisciplinary project-based approach to engage yourself and your students with STEM concepts.”
In this chapter, we first introduce reades to the book and recommend how it could be used. The ‘reverse’ sequencing of content and activities throughout the book – early introduction of classroom-ready activities rather than theory and other considerations – is unlike most textbooks in the STEM education genre and is a deliberate strategy designed to provide you with the most useful sections that are hands-on and engaging before we explain the literature behind these ideas. Second, we discuss the importance of STEM education in today’s primary classrroms and how the approach we present in this book will help you to implement engaging learning experiences for students. Third, we provide some information about project-based learning and why we feel this is the most useful approach to adopt when planning integrated STEM learning and teaching experiences. Finally, we present a Garden Challenge as an example of an integrated STEM project.
There is a long and rich history of human discovery related to space. Before we developed telescopes, patterns (constellations) of far away suns (stars) in the sky were used as signposts for travelling. This chapter presents explanations of a range of commonly held space-related alternative conceptions. It then provides three integrated STEM projects for Years F–2, 3–4 and 5–6. Primary-aged children should be exposed to learning opportunities that encourage their ability to make accurate observations, to critically evaluate their meaning and to use this information in their daily lives. Space is an intriguing and engaging contextwithin which to develop these skills.
This chapter focuses on shelters and their significance for providing protection for living things from environmental factors such as seasonal weather changes, natural disasters, extreme weather events and climate change. An ecosystem is the name given to a group of interacting organisms in a particular environment – which could be a city street, a creek in dense bushland or a coral reef. The world contains a huge variety of ecosystems where living things interact and often compete for available resources such as water, air, light, food, space and the resources required to provide shelters. This chapter examines the notion of community and the physical shelters that organisms require for long-term survival. It presents common examples of shelters created by humans and other animals, and describes three integrated STEM projects designed for Australian primary school classrooms.
Assessments need to demonstrate that students have achieved the intended outcomes as anticipated. For students to succeed, they also need to be assessed in ways that support their learning and for tasks to be structured in a way that is ongoing, so they can learn and grow from the feedback. Thus, assessment is meant to be more than an exam or an assignment that is given at the end of the unit. An integrated STEM project draws upon multiple disciplines. This chapter is about assessment, project based-learning, integrated STEM, the Australian Curriculum and the connections between them. It also raises some of the issues and challenges that have been highlighted in the literature on these areas. The chapter also focuses on how diagnostic, formative and summative assessments can be administered. Connections are made between these assessment strategies and how they can be situated in some of the projects that are presented in this book. The chapter also presents some suggestions on how the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum can be incorporated into integrated STEM projects.
In this chapter, the world of engineers and what they do is explained and then explored within the context of Foundation to Year 6 settings. Using ACARA documents (upon which all state and territory curricula and syllabus documents are based), and an engineering concept lens, relevant knowledge, skills and values for the years F–2, 3–4 and 5–6 are identified and mapped to a range of Garden Challenge activities/projects to provide examples of authentic, engaging learning opportunities for students that reflect how engineers work and think when tackling problems. This chapter takes you through the process of how to work and think as engineers do and how to apply these strategies in Australian primary school classrooms.
As a teacher, not only will you be providing a rich context for effective STEM project-based learning, but you will be setting up your students for careers of the future. It is quite a challenge to prepare students for careers that have not yet been invented. This chapter looks at some of the future careers, first considering opportunities to form partnerships and the way they can be developed. It then outlines some of the STEM connections that exist in Australia at three levels: through governments (both federal and state), at the organisational level and at the local level through industry and community groups. STEM informal and formal learning opportunities, activities and events are presented as mini-case studies that fit within these three areas.
How would you go about identifying and then setting up a successful STEM learning space in a school? Some teachers hold the view that STEM education is complex, difficult and requires a range of expensive resources to be used in a particularly designed STEM learning space. In the first section, we explore the research related to STEM learning environments and the history and design of makerspaces.The chapter then identifies key aspects of STEM learning spaces, and looks at those materials/resources that are essential and those that are optional for supporting STEM activities. The chapter then examines the views of experienced teachers regarding STEM education and considers the mindset required by STEM teachers.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education relates to what humans do to shape the world around them. The four disciplines and ways of thinking associated with STEM, especially when combined, help children appreciate that imagining, inventing and adapting are part of everyday life. This chapter draws on current education research and talks about the relevance of STEM for early childhood education. Digital learning and integrating the Arts are emphasised in the context of technologies.
As we present the fourth edition of Science in Early Childhood, we are continually aware of how much science education in early childhood has moved forward since the first edition. While retaining the essential elements of science learning and teaching that inform and guide pre-service and in-service educators/teachers of preschool and early years settings at school, this new edition provides a more expansive collection of topics. More detailed coverage and new chapters include scientific inquiry in the early years, teaching science inclusively, Indigenous Ways of Knowing science, encouraging playful young scientists and science learning through informal experiences. All other chapters have been updated.
This article takes advantage of three new big historical datasets to identify four salient features of the Chinese academe during the Republic of China. First, it was highly international in terms of training. Second, the proportion of female students was unexpectedly large. Third, there was a heavy emphasis on STEM subjects. Finally, the social and spatial origins of China's university students and university faculty members changed from a national population of civil servant families to business and professional families largely from Jiangnan and the Pearl River Delta. The datasets are the China University Student Dataset – Republic of China, which includes almost half of all students to graduate from a Chinese university during the first half of the 20th century; the China University Student Dataset – Overseas, which includes the vast majority of all Chinese students to graduate from a North American, European or Japanese university during this same period; and the China University Employee Dataset, which includes almost all university faculty members in China, 1941–1950.