Vocational education in science technology, engineering and maths (STEM) : Curriculum innovation through industry school partnerships

Watters, James J. & Christensen, Clare (2013) Vocational education in science technology, engineering and maths (STEM) : Curriculum innovation through industry school partnerships. In Constantinou, Constantinos P., Papdouris, Nicos, & Hadjigeorgiou, Angela (Eds.) Science Education Research For Evidence-based Teaching and Coherence in Learning, University of Cyprus, Nicosia.

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Abstract

Governments have recognised that the technological trades rely on knowledge embedded traditionally in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In this paper, we report preliminary findings on the development of two curricula that attempt to integrate science and mathematics with workplace knowledge and practices. We argue that these curricula provide educational opportunities for students to pursue their preferred career pathways. These curricula were co-developed by industry and educational personnel across two industry sectors, namely, mining and aerospace. The aim was to provide knowledge appropriate for students moving from school to the workplace in the respective industries. The analysis of curriculum and associated policy documents reveals that the curricula adopt applied learning orientations through teaching strategies and assessment practices which focus on practical skills. However, although key theoretical science and maths concepts have been well incorporated, the extent to which knowledge deriving from workplace practices is included varies across the curricula. Our findings highlight the importance of teachers having substantial practical industry experience and the role that whole school policies play in attempts to align the range of learning experiences with the needs of industry.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 70000
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9789963700776
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Deposited On: 09 Apr 2014 22:39
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 23:29

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