‘Teaching how to learn: promoting self-regulated learning in
STEM classes’ is a project funded by a 2019 Australian Research Council
Discovery Grant. The project aims to investigate key factors that influence
improvements in teacher capacity and student academic outcomes in STEM
subjects. Although the call to create classroom learning environments that
increase the interest, activity and control of students over their learning
especially in the STEM areas has been around for a long time, research shows
little progress. There is a noticeable lack of interest in secondary school
science, which is primarily attributed to factors such as lack of student
autonomy, the impersonal nature of teacher-student relationships, teaching
dominated by transmissive as opposed to activity-based programs, an emphasis on
meaningless rules and procedures over ideas and curricula that allow little
tailoring to individual student needs. The critical questions are: Can we
create sustainable changes in teachers’ practices in STEM and do these changes
influence students’ interest, uptake of science and academic performance?
The purpose of the project is
to promote student-centred teacher practices in STEM by combining research in
STEM learning with research in the area of self-regulated learning (SRL) and
ICAP (Interactive, Constructive, Active and Passive) learning. It involves the
development and evaluation of professional development designed to help
teachers create learning environments that promote student engagement and the
development of the cognitive and metacognitive skills needed for success in
STEM. The project involves a collaboration between Flinders University (Chief
Investigators; Professor Stella Vosniadou and Emeritus Professor Michael J.
Lawson), the University of Melbourne (Chief Investigator: Professor Lorraine
Graham), Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt (Partner Investigator: Dr
Charlotte Dignath van Ewijk), and Arizona State University (Partner
Investigator: Professor Michelene Chi).
It is anticipated that the
research will advance our understanding of how to increase the quality of
teaching and learning in STEM subjects, and improve teacher capacity and
student performance in STEM.
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