Step Up focused on five major priorities for collaborative action throughout the project:
|Transformative partnerships||Step Up has partnered with mathematics and science (MS) and teacher education (Ted) stakeholders to collaboratively foster innovation and sustainability of outcomes.
With these partnerships, Step Up built stakeholder awareness of the project imperative, developed shared frameworks, and expanded practice networks.
Collaborating academic staff across universities and faculties of education and science instigated formal structures to share resources and expertise. Together these diverse experts have developed shared goals and steps to achieve meaningful change in the field of MS Ted. This has been a driver for Step Up, to ensure key learnings and outputs are scalable, transferable and sustainable.
In the longer term, it is envisioned that these partnerships will provide mechanisms for sustained resourcing, implementation and national dissemination beyond the life of the Project. See Step Up collaborators for full list of partners.
|Collaboration is an essential underpinning of all Step Up priority areas and activities. Examples of key partnerships that have underpinned successful design and delivery of model approaches include:
•Integrated STEM Teaching Pathways courses, developed across faculties and universities
•TeachConnect with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT), University of the Southern Queensland and QUT
•The STEM Studio thanks to the participation of secondary schools and science teachers.
|Recruitment||A key priority for Step Up is achieving a significant increase in the number of students specialising in secondary MS teaching in areas of need.
An interdisciplinary team of academics worked to advance student recruitment into MS Ted courses. They co-designed targeted pathways and marketing to:
• Attract STEM students to get a ‘taste’ of education through STEM Education Minor courses, which provide seamless transition and skill-sharing opportunities across the discipline areas
• Champion education career pathways and clarify associated course entry points and structures.
|Integrated STEM Teaching Pathways courses, developed across faculties and universities.|
|Connecting content & Pedagogy||Step Up developed and a range of innovative model approaches, through testing ways of equipping emerging secondary teachers with the understanding, skills and confidence to teach science far more like it is practised.
Underpinning this priority area is the integration of robust and intentional approaches to learning design, curriculum design and assessment. It is informed by previous Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) and Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) projects, and innovative international models.
|Course & Curriculum||Step Up has developed new course and curriculum structures –
• aligned with AITSL standards
• grounded in MS disciplines
• developed collaboratively between MS and TEd academic communities
• delivered by inspirational teachers from multiple university sites and
• sustained through formalised curriculum structures and processes.
|New models and interventions with existing courses and curriculum structures include:
•Integrated STEM Teaching Pathways – new courses at QUT and in development for JCU and UQ
•TeachConnect integration with Professional Experience curriculum at QUT and Griffith
•Engaging Students in Scientific Inquiry embedded as a learning framework in course curriculum at QUT
|Learning Communities||Step Up has worked to establish a learning community and networked culture amongst emerging secondary science teachers.
Both face-to-face and online networks have been established with sustaining infrastructure to continue to support pre-service mathematics and science teachers in their transition into successful careers. In addition to facilitating retention of early career STEM teachers, networks will help to support new teachers as they look to implement renewed approaches to teaching science, as well as to develop and share their professional experience/practice.
|•The TeachConnect customised online platform bringing together pre-service teachers and mentors from across QLD
•Step Up engagement and cohort building strategy with numerous opportunities for professional development and networking<LINK>
•The STEM Studio fostered a ‘third’ space that is safe, non-assessed and supportive for PSTs to practise new teaching approaches