Big Brains for Science – How to get a group to work together

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Australian Council of Deans of Science thinking of ways to improve pre-service teaching with GroupMap.

The Big Questions:

  •  What essential skills should secondary teachers in Science and Maths have?
  • What complementary skills should secondary teachers in Science and Maths have?
  • What can Science and Education Faculties at University do to improve this?
  • How can Science and Education Faculties collaborate to improve Science and Maths pre service teaching?

Broad scientific literacy is needed  by the Australian community. Full stop!!

We take for granted that much of the world as we see it is only possible through constant and sustaining scientific research. This knowledge transfer starts in primary and secondary schools and encouraging and engaging students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a growing need.

Following the Annual General Meeting of the Deans of Science across 30 Australian Universities, a plenary session was run by Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University. GroupMap was used by the Deans to respond to Treasury announcements targeting sustainable programs to improve pre-service teaching.The question style involved an initial segregation  between essential and complementary skills for pre-service teachers. Participants then moved towards the key question of what could be done at Faculty level (Science, Education and Combined) to best meet the criteria for the funding programs.

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The outcomes ranged from statements of intent to suggestions of pragmatic initiatives which mirrored best practice examples.Common themes and goals were shared with the group in real time and this then formed the framework for collaborative practice discussions.  By being able to quickly consolidate information from the group meant that everyone could move through the questions quickly, leaving more time for lunch and networking.

Groupmap is very supportive of improving teaching and learning outcomes, so this initiative is one we could not say no to. It was fantastic to see ideation and sharing by a group of thought leaders who have the potential to continue to improve and enhance Australia’s scientific prowess. Our thanks to Professor John Rice, Executive Officer of the ACDS , and Professor Jo Ward, Dean of Science, Curtin University for choosing to use GroupMap at this event.

 

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