Educational Futures and Innovation

Re-imagining futures in S T E M E


Constructing Representations to Learn Science

By Russell Tytler, Vaughan Prain, Peter Hubber and Bruce Waldrip (Editors). Available from SensePublishers

Current research into student learning in science has shifted attention from the traditional cognitivist perspectives of conceptual change to socio-cultural and semiotic perspectives that characterize learning in terms of induction into disciplinary literacy practices. This book builds on recent interest in the role of representations in learning to argue for a pedagogical practice based on students actively generating and exploring representations. The book describes a sustained inquiry in which the authors worked with primary and secondary teachers of science, on key topics identified as problematic in the research literature. Data from classroom video, teacher interviews and student artifacts were used to develop and validate a set of pedagogical principles and explore student learning and teacher change issues. The authors argue the theoretical and practical case for a representational focus. The pedagogical approach is illustrated and explored in terms of the role of representation to support quality student learning in science. Separate chapters address the implications of this perspective and practice for structuring sequences around different concepts, reasoning and inquiry in science, models and model based reasoning, the nature of concepts and learning, teacher change, and assessment. The authors argue that this representational focus leads to significantly enhanced student learning, and has the effect of offering new and productive perspectives and approaches for a number of contemporary strands of thinking in science education including conceptual change, inquiry, scientific literacy, and a focus on the epistemic nature of science.

Science in Early Childhood

By Coral Campbell, Wendy Jobling (Editors). Available from Cambridge University Press

Science education in the early years is vital in assisting young children to come to know about and understand the world around them. Science in Early Childhood covers the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of teaching science in early childhood settings in a way that is engaging and accessible. It is a comprehensive resource for students, as well as early childhood teachers and carers, and provides up-to-date coverage of the national Early Years Learning Framework.

This text explores the current issues and debates in early childhood science education from an Australian perspective, while recognising the links to international practice and research. A summary at the start of each chapter helps readers identify the key themes and ideas in early science education, and application boxes throughout the text illustrate how theories relate to practice. Written by experts in the field, Science in Early Childhood is essential reading for early childhood educators.

Research Reports

Marginson, S, Tytler, R, Freeman, B and Roberts, K (2013). STEM: Country comparisons. Report for the Australian
Council of Learned Academies,
STEM: Country comparisons (PDF-8MB)

Russell Tytler's summary of Marginson, S, Tytler, R, Freeman, B and Roberts, K (2013). STEM: Country comparisons. Report for the Australian Council of Learned Academies,
STEM comparisons summary (PDF-50KB)

Tytler, R., Symington, D., Hubber, P., Chittleborough, G., Campbell, C. and Darby, L. (2010) The student as scientist : the impact of the BHP Billiton science awards, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic.
The student as scientist A study of the impact of the BHP Billiton Science Awards (PDF-2MB)

Symington, D., Campbell, C., & Tytler, R. (2008). 'Charting futures for Science, ICT, Mathematics Education in Rural and Regional Victoria' A Forum organised by the SiMERR Victorian Hub of the Science, ICT, and Mathematics Education in Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR) project - Report of the forum.
SiMERR Final Report (PDF-550KB)

Tytler, R., Malcolm, C., Symington, D., & Kirkwood, V. (2008). Research report: Professional development provision for teachers of science and mathematics in rural and regional Victoria. Geelong: Deakin University.

Tytler, R., Groves, S., Gough, A., Darby, L., Kakkinen, C., & Doig, B. (2008). Improving Middle Years Mathematics and Science: Final report of an ARC linkage project to the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Melbourne: Deakin University.
IMYMS Final Report DEECD (PDF-775KB)

Tytler, R., Osborne, J., Williams, G., Tytler, K., & Cripps Clark, J. (2008). Opening up pathways: Engagement in STEM across the Primary-Secondary school transition. Canberra: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
Report can be accessed at

Tytler, R., Symington, D., Smith, C., & Rodrigues, S. (2008). An Innovation Framework based on best practice exemplars from the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Project. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
Report can be accessed at

Campbell, C., Chittleborough, G., Hubber, P., Tytler, R., Barty, K., & Stacey, E.  (2007). Using ICT to Support Literacy and Numeracy in Rural Schools: Evaluation report of a project of the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria.
Report can be accessed at


STEME submission
Submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into effective strategies for teacher professional learning, Education and Training Committee, Parliament of Victoria
Professional learning submission (PDF-272KB)


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20th June 2013