ReMSTEP is dedicated to the representation of contemporary scientific research and development practices within school science and mathematics. Within the Australian Curriculum – Science, this sits within the ‘Science as a Human Endeavour’ and ‘Scientific Skills’ strands as well as enriching content understanding.
The IFM module represents research and development processes associated with Modern Materials, and includes inquiry activities focused on investigation skills and linked to contemporary research practices. It also features profiles of young researchers working in materials research that cuts across science and engineering, science ideas and their societal application.
For pre-service teachers the activities provide an opportunity to think about how contemporary scientific research and development might be represented in school science inquiry processes. Below is a sample PowerPoint that has been used with pre-service teachers in conjunction with the plastics investigation, that identifies curriculum links for the activities, and raises the following questions arising from the module:
Discussion points for PSTs arising from presentation of the module
- What are the advantages of translating contemporary science into classroom practices?
- What are the challenges?
- How important is representing the scientist as the person behind the practice?
- How can we develop students’ understandings of how science works to solve important societal problems?
- In what ways does this imply a re-shaping of classroom science?