Primary connections: Stage 2 trial: Research report
Australian Academy of Science
Place of Publication
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
Primary Connections is an innovative national initiative of the Australian Academy of Science which links the teaching of science with the teaching of the literacies needed for learning science in primary schools. It comprises a sophisticated professional learning program supported with rich curriculum resources and is designed to increase teachers’ confidence and competence in the teaching of science and the literacies of science. Primary Connections is based on an inquiry and investigative approach in which students work from questions through investigations to constructing explanations and is therefore consistent with contemporary constructivist learning theory. Students are given opportunities to represent and re-represent their developing understandings using a wide range of texts and information communication technologies (ICTs). Assessment is integrated with teaching and learning. Students’ representations of their developing understandings provide opportunities for teachers to monitor students’ learning progress and use this information to facilitate further learning. The program is being implemented in stages. Stage 1 was funded by the Australian Academy of Science and involved developing a conceptual model for the program and gaining support from jurisdictions. The project model has been developed in partnership with a reference group which was established in December 2003. All states and territories and major groups involved in the teaching of science and literacy in Australia are represented. This group strongly supported the need for such a project. Stage 2 was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training, who provided $1.8 million under the Australian Government’s Quality Teacher Programme (AGQTP). Stage 2 developed and trialled curriculum resources and a professional learning program with 106 teachers from 56 schools drawn from all Australian education jurisdictions and sectors. Funding is currently being sought for Stage 3, to write further curriculum resources and train professional learning facilitators from all states and territories to support the roll-out of the program in schools throughout Australia.