Edith Cowan University
Place of Publication
Perth, Western Australia
Education Research Institute, School of Education
This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as a quality teacher initiative under the Boosting Innovation, Science, Technology and Mathematics Teaching programme.
Australia needs a scientifically literate society and a supply of scientists and technologists to sustain a thriving economy and to address a wide range of social and environmental challenges. The goals of scientific literacy and a sufficient supply of science and technology graduates from higher education require that primary and secondary schools offer authentic and inquiry oriented science curricula that engage students and inspire them to continue their studies of science (Ainley et al., 2008). Science teachers depend heavily on good facilities and high quality technical support to implement an engaging and inquiry-oriented curriculum and this will be particularly important as Australia implements a national science curriculum. There has been very little research on the status of technical support for secondary school science, and most of this has been conducted in the United Kingdom (The Royal Society & ASE, 2001, 2002). Concerns about the status of technical support for science teaching programs in Australian schools by the Australian Science Teachers Association and Science Education Technicians Australia led to the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) funding a study to investigate the training and support for technicians, their roles and the level of servicing provided by technicians for the teaching and learning of secondary science...