Guiding the direction for STEM in NSW
The National STEM Education Strategy 2016 - 2026 (Education Council, 2015) forms the basis for the NSW Department of Education STEM directions. Through addressing the five areas of national action, STEM education in our schools will equip students from pre-school to Year 12 with strong skills and knowledge, and inspire them to take on more challenging STEM subjects.
1. Increasing student STEM ability, engagement, participation and aspiration
In New South Wales public schools, every student from preschool to Year 12 has the opportunity for active engagement in authentic and challenging STEM learning. From early learning, teachers immerse learners in the wonderment of the world around them. Students progress through primary and middle years schooling, developing confidence and positive attitudes to the STEM-related disciplines through engagement with rich, authentic learning opportunities.
Pathways to achieve and thrive in the STEM disciplines are clearly mapped and career aspirations in STEM are actively supported.
Schools in New South Wales create learning environments that encourage innovation, creativity and engagement in STEM learning, that support students? curiosity for science, technology and mathematics, and develop deep thinking and problem solving.
Throughout their education, students? STEM aspirations are built on success through participation.
2. Increasing teacher capacity and STEM teaching quality
Our teachers engage in high-quality professional learning informed by current research and evidence to increase teacher capacity and improve STEM teaching quality. Within the context of explicit teaching of foundational skills, our teachers deliver project-based learning, and engineering and technological challenges to provide real-world contexts for projects.
Through the development of high quality, professional STEM learning communities, teachers share their best practice and showcase successful STEM initiatives.
Teachers are equipped with skills to plan and implement high-quality STEM learning opportunities for every student, for every school, for every context.
3. Supporting STEM education opportunities within school systems
In New South Wales Public Schools, our leaders develop a culture of high expectations in STEM education and recognise inspirational teachers and student achievement.
The New South Wales Department of Education supports schools in the implementation of quality curriculum, the use of innovative technology, and the provision of learning spaces to develop tailored and authentic STEM education programs.
Our schools facilitate STEM engagement through effective curriculum, teaching approaches and assessment resources to improve learning outcomes for every student.
4. Facilitating effective partnerships with tertiary education providers, business, industry and agencies
In New South Wales Public Schools, our STEM leaders facilitate effective community, business, tertiary education and industry partnerships. Mentoring programs connect students with STEM career pathways and teachers with industry skills, all through a shared vision aligned with each school?s STEM strategic plan.
Parents, the broader school community, universities, business and industry connect to make student STEM learning engaging, authentic and valued which is critical to Australia?s capacity for innovation and global competitiveness.
The New South Wales Department of Education provides coordinated support to expand school-based STEM education supported by increased industry participation. Authentic and sustained partnerships develop to support and identify quality STEM learning and teaching, and emerging STEM career pathways.
5. Building a strong evidence base
Measuring the impact of the New South Wales Department of Education's STEM education programs of integrated and project-based teaching of STEM, focuses on our aim to improve student aspiration, engagement and performance. Through collaboration with universities and the Centre for Education Statistics Evaluation, an evidence base will be developed that tracks improved student learning outcomes and industry participation rates in the Australian context.