Australian Science Teachers Association
Education and Arts
Education, Fogarty Learning Centre
A number of reports have argued that secondary science education needs to be more inquiry oriented and involve authentic and practical investigations to develop scientific literacy and better engage students in learning science. Inquiry-oriented approaches, such as those advocated in the new science national curriculum, require that teachers have access to good laboratory facilities and equipment and are supported by knowledgeable laboratory technicians. Without adequate and qualified technical support, the quality of the curriculum will be compromised. This paper reports on the status of laboratory technicians in Australian secondary schools and makes recommendations for improving the quality of training and support of technicians and the level of servicing of science programs.