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Title: Teaching Primary Science in Rural and Regional Australia: Some Challenges Facing Practicing and Pre-service Teachers
Contributor(s): Laidlaw, Kristy-Rebecca (author); Taylor, Neil  (author)orcid ; Fletcher, Peter  (author)
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: The teaching of science has long been viewed as problematic within primary classrooms across Australia. This study explores the teaching of primary science in an area of rural and regional Australia (the New England Region of New South Wales) where small populations, remote settings and isolation can make the teaching of science and other Key Learning Areas (KLA) very challenging. The study employed a mixed methods approach involving a survey of pre and in-service primary teachers (n=41), and semi structured interviews (n=11) with individuals from both of these groups. The findings indicated that many primary teachers and pre-service primary teachers in the New England Region feel challenged by science for a number of reasons including low levels of confidence in relation to scientific content and pedagogical knowledge (specifically in relation to the physical sciences), insufficient resources and equipment, time constraints and limited professional development opportunities. Furthermore, the research indicated that the in-service teachers involved in this study rated science as their second least preferred subject of the six Key Learning Areas within the New South Wales primary curriculum. However, a recent innovation entitled Primary Connections, currently being developed and trialed cross Australia, was favorably received by interviewees in this study and once fully operational, may help to address some of the challenges faced by primary teachers in the area of science.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Science and Mathematics Education in Southeast Asia, 32(2), p. 105-130
Publisher: Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation, Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics
Place of Publication: Malaysia
ISSN: 0126-7663
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130105 Primary Education (excl Maori)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
HERDC Category Description: C2 Non-Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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