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Australian first STEM textbook set to equip and empower teachers

Published:09 April 2021

CQUniversity Senior Lecturer, Dr Linda Pfeiffer.

CQUniversity Senior Lecturer, Dr Linda Pfeiffer.

Australian pre and in-service teachers can now make integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education a feature of their classroom practice.

That is thanks to the timely release of the STEM Education in the Primary School – A Teacher’s Toolkit textbook, co-authored by CQUniversity Senior Lecturer Dr Linda Pfeiffer.

The textbook, which is the first of its kind to be mapped to the Australian curriculum, will support pre-service teachers at university, and in-service teachers in the classroom.

Dr Pfeiffer says STEM Education in the Primary School will introduce readers to the theory, skills, and practice of teaching STEM, through a project-based learning approach.

“STEM topics such as health, shelter, and space are explored, using tested and age-appropriate project examples, to illustrate the translation of STEM ideas to classroom practices,” she says.

“The textbook also connects current research in STEM education to teaching practice, through detailed discussion of topics including assessment, learning spaces, community, and STEM futures."

Dr Pfeiffer says the textbook is also supported by short-answer and reflection questions, activities, information boxes, and real-world scenarios.

“These inclusions encourage readers to consolidate their knowledge, by testing the new skills, language, and knowledge they have gained through the course of each chapter," she said.

“Additional guidance is also provided via an accompanying eBook, which includes downloadable templates for implementing projects and practices into the classrooms.”

Dr Pfeiffer says the inclusion of STEM education in today’s primary school classrooms is important because it teaches students a valuable skill-set, transferable to any industry.

“With the rise of new technologies in biomedicine, microfabrication, and artificial intelligence, the ability to understand and apply data, as well as solve complex problems is critical,” she says.

“Through quality STEM education, students will develop the valuable skill-set needed to thrive in any industry, as critical thinkers, inventors, and leaders, all of which are in high demand.”

The author team also includes Macquarie University Senior Lecturer, Anne Forbes, Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor, Vinesh Chandra, and Curtin University Associate Professor, Rachel Sheffield.

For more information on CQUniversity’s commitment to STEM education, visit www.cqu.edu.au/research/organisations/centre-for-research-in-equity-and-advancement-of-teaching-and-education/stem-central