Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools and Monash University will collaborate on a project aimed at building teacher capacity to create challenging, authentic and exciting STEM learning opportunities for their students.
The project, known as #theSTEMproblem, will draw together key principles for a successful problem-based learning (PBL) model and deliver a coherent and sustainable pedagogical framework to inform school-based STEM education.
“This is an extremely exciting project for Catholic education,” MACS acting executive director, Paul Sharkey, said.
“Our schools and teachers are already highly skilled and invested in problem-solving approaches to learning. However, by combining the expertise of Monash University with that of our teachers, this project will further build capability in this critical area of teaching practice,” Dr Sharkey said.
He said the project would explore and discover optimal classroom environments that develop learners’ capabilities to seek and respond to challenges, think critically and creatively, and work collaboratively – all central to future personal and professional success, and effective citizenship in the modern world.
“By explicitly focusing on further enhancing the quality of STEM learning and teaching across our system, this project aligns with our strategic intent to support the full flourishing of all learners,” he said.
“Importantly, this work also supports our response to Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, which challenges future generations to live sustainably.”
Dr Sharkey said he was delighted that teachers from five Catholic primary schools and seven secondary colleges have opted to participate in the project.
Funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council (ARC), the collaborative phase of the project will commenced with an online briefing session for participating teachers on Wednesday.