A lack of resources, the inability to stay up-to-date with technological trends and a lack of teacher confidence in STEM are some of the issues Refraction Media identified in a recent survey of Australia’s maths and science teachers.
“In our small survey of 70 educators, these were some of the key concerns of teachers in reaching students in Years 8, 9 and 10,” said Heather Catchpole, Refraction Media’s Head of Content.
The Australian Council of Education Research (ACER) today released the four-yearly Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, showing student achievements in science and maths have flatlined.
“The ACER research shows us that it’s imperative to engage with students who are struggling with maths and science before year 8, and even before year 4,” said Catchpole.
“But it’s also important to show students that there is a strong need for STEM graduates at top levels. We hear from industry that there is a pipeline problem in getting enough STEM graduates to fill positions not just as scientists and mathematicians, but getting graduates who are well versed in the kinds of logical and computational thinking that come from studying STEM subjects at schools.
“These are the people who will be best placed to create and fill the careers of the future, and they will be competing against the best of the best worldwide.”
“We hear from teachers that they are passionate about creating engaging STEM programs in schools, but often under-resourced, or coming from a different background, such as history, and without the core knowledge required to deliver STEM programs that go beyond the textbook.
“At the same time, students are entering a world where rapid technological change is creative disruptive opportunities in new career areas, and threats to traditional careers.
“There’s a clear gap in how we are addressing students that needs to change if we’re to achieve this ‘innovation future’ that the government has set as a goal.”
Refraction Media produces a series of free magazines on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers, including Careers with Code, which Google funds an accelerated distribution of 50 copies to each Australian school. Refraction Media also produce teacher resources in STEM and a STEM ambassador program that raises teacher confidence in STEM and provides them with tools, resources and access to educational conferences.
You can read more about the Refraction Survey here.
Heather Catchpole, Head of Content 0401 068 975, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Taylor-Brown, CEO, 0414 218 575, Karen@refractionmedia.com.au