ReMSTEP – Reconceptualising Mathematics and Science Teacher Education

ReMSTEP is a network of four leading universities dedicated to developing new teacher education approaches that align contemporary practices in the sciences with innovative and engaging approaches to teaching and learning.

The four partner institutions (the University of Melbourne, Deakin University, La Trobe University and Monash University) have worked through a number of Innovations desa

ReMSTEP has introduced new approaches to mathematics and science teacher education, which were developed within a range of existing courses, coupled with supporting resources and revitalised, evidence-based approaches to mathematics and science teacher education that develop teachers’ capabilities and dispositions to represent these practices in their classrooms. Rather than implementing a singular and purpose-built course structure, this project created appropriate conditions for simultaneous developmental activity across diverse teacher education programs and sites of mathematical and scientific practice.

A range of collaborative activities were initiated, including:

  • New courses, subjects and content have been introduced into university teacher education programs.
  • A variety of collaborative activities between university education, science and mathematics departments have been established.
  • Partnerships strengthened with external mathematics and science organisations.
    A network of academics, pre-service and in-service teachers, teacher educators and scientists has been created.
  • The dissemination of findings through a variety of mechanisms, including the ReMSTEP website and two annual ReMSTEP conferences in November of 2015 and 2016.

At Deakin we have been working on a range of activities to explore new ways of linking pre-service teachers with scientists and mathematicians and engineers to enhance their knowledge of contemporary STEM practices, and their capacity to represent these in innovative teaching approaches. The longer-term aim of the project is to introduce ways of representing STEM practices more authentically into school curricula.

The Deakin ReMSTEP activities include:

  • Contemporary VCE Biology, involving the translation of current research into senior biology curriculum resources
  • The development of a Modern Materials Module based on research and development at Deakin’s Institute of Frontier Materials
  • Workshops involving pre-service teachers (PST’s) working with scientists and engineers, teachers, and teacher educators to produce school science activities
  • A ‘Re-conceptualising rocks’ activity where PST’s worked with museum scientists
  • An activity in the Communicating Science unit involving students interacting with Deakin scientists, to develop communication materials about their work.
  • IFM Chemistry where Chemistry PST’s worked with PhD scientists from the Institute of Frontier Materials to develop school chemistry activities
  • A contemporary science network of local primary schools, led by Deakin University.