Australia continues to slip in the international rankings of the achievement of our high school students in science and mathematics. This is of great concern as our future economy and society are both dependent on science, technology and engineering.
Teachers are the most significant in-school factor in determining student achievement. Ensuring a high-quality teaching workforce is paramount.
While there are many excellent science and mathematics teachers and excellent schools, there is huge variability and the predominance of teachers teaching out-of-field in science, mathematics and technology is profound.
The panel will lead a discussion on how to attract science and mathematics graduates into teaching; how to respond to out-of-field teaching; and the professional support and development of teachers.
Principal, Blackburn High School
Joanna has been a member of the Science Teachers Association of Victoria Executive since 2008, holding dual roles as STAV Vice-President and STAV Treasurer and has contributed to the development of the Australian Curriculum during the national ACARA meetings in 2008 – 2009 resulting in the nationally adopted Australian Curriculum K-10 and the Senior Science subjects. She has held many senior leadership roles in schools, most recently as Principal at Blackburn High School for the past four years. Joanna is well placed to contribute to the panel discussion from a multi-faceted lens; teacher, team leader, school leader and system-wide leader. Her undergraduate studies involved Chemistry and Mathematics, this was followed by the study of Japanese and a Masters of Education.
Associate Professor of Science Education, Deakin University
Through her teaching and research, Linda Hobbs has conducted a range of educational projects and initiatives, working closely with researchers and academics, school teachers and school supervisors, pre-service teachers, and key stakeholders with interests in STEM, science and education generally. Her recent work focuses on out-of-field teaching and STEM education, and she is currently leading an evaluation of the Tech Schools initiative in Victoria. A number of recent professional development projects have focused on building the capability of STEM teaching at the primary and secondary level.
Jan H. van Driel
Professor of Science Education, University of Melbourne
Jan van Driel is a professor of science education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. He worked as a chemistry teacher before doing a PhD (1990). His teaching and research focuses on innovative approaches to teaching science and (interdisciplinary) STEM, with a specific interest in the development of teachers’ professional knowledge. His current activities include professional development of primary teachers to become science specialists and a project on participation of girls in STEM. He is keen to explore and research ways to develop teachers’ potential.