Creating synergy in teacher education through robotics-based STEM activities

Chalmers, Christina & Macbeth, Peter (2013) Creating synergy in teacher education through robotics-based STEM activities. In Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) Conference, 30 June - 3 July 2013, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.

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Robotics has created opportunities for educators to teach concepts across Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). This is one of the reasons robotics is becoming increasingly common in primary and secondary classrooms in Australia. To enable pre-service teachers to design engaging STEM activities that incorporate these technologies, robotics is part of the teaching program in the primary education degree at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). A number of pre-service teachers also choose to extend their abilities by implementing robotics activities on field studies, in schools on a voluntary basis, and in outreach activities such as the Robotics@QUT project. The Robotics@QUT project is a support network developed to build professional knowledge and capacity of classroom teachers in schools from a low SES area, engaging in robotics-based STEM activities. Professional Development (PD) workshops are provided to teachers in order to build their knowledge and confidence in implementing robotics activities in their classrooms, loan kits are provided, and pre-service teacher visits arranged to provide the teachers with on-going support. A key feature of the project is the partnerships developed between the teachers and the pre-service teachers involved in the project. The purpose of this study was to ascertain how the teachers in the project perceived the value of the PD workshops and the pre-service teachers’ involvement and what the benefits of the involvement in the project were for the pre-service teachers. Seventeen teachers completed a five-point (1-5) likert scale questionnaire regarding their involvement in the Robotics@QUT project. Teachers’ responses on the value of the project and the pre-service teacher support highlighted the benefits of the partnerships formed and provided insights into the value of the support provided by the pre-service teachers. This paper also describes one pre-service teacher’s experience with the project and the perceived benefits from being involved.

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ID Code: 67853
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Teacher education, pre-service teachers, community engagement, robotics, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 26 Feb 2014 00:58
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2014 03:03

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