Title

Primary Connections: Stage 3: Interim research and evaluation report No. 3: Trial school principals’ expectations of the programme and perceptions of its impact

Document Type

Report

Publisher

Australian Academy of Science

Place of Publication

Canberra

Faculty

Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

School

Education

Comments

This article was originally published as: Hackling, M. W. (2006). Primary Connections: Stage 3: Interim research and evaluation report No. 3: Trial school principals’ expectations of the programme and perceptions of its impact. Canberra: Australian Academy of Science.Original report available here

Abstract

Principals were expecting Primary Connections to improve science teaching, raise the profile of science in the school, increase the amount of science taught in the school and to have a good science programme. At the time of the survey, principals perceived that the programme had delivered an increased profile of science in their schools, whole school involvement and greater collegiality, improved science teaching and more science being taught in the school. Principals were expecting Primary Connections to improve trial teachers’ pedagogy and confidence with teaching science through access to good professional development. Principals were also hoping that the trial teachers would help other teachers improve their science teaching. A large majority of principals reported improved confidence with teaching science. Other impacts related to improved pedagogy, increased status of the trial teachers within their schools, improved links between science and literacy and trial teachers had developed skills of supporting the professional learning of their colleagues. Principals expected Primary Connections to deliver enhanced cognitive and affective outcomes for students and an increased opportunity to learn science. The main impact on students was perceived to be on affective outcomes. Other impacts were enhanced cognitive outcomes and opportunity to study science. A large majority of principals reported a positive impact of the programme on trial teachers’ confidence and competence for teaching science and literacy and on students’ learning of science and literacy. Only one-third of principals indicated their schools required the one-day Introduction to Primary Connections workshop, while the science investigations, assessment and literacies of science 90-minute workshops were required by more schools.Time for planning and training was reported by 25% of principals as the factor constraining further implementation of Primary Connections at their schools. On a positive note, 22% of principals indicated there were no factors that would constrain further implementation of Primary Connections.