Student agency through STEM
Alstonville Public School use project-based learning pedagogy to give students voice and choice, feedback and evaluation of their learning.
Location: Main St, Alstonville
Level: Primary School, Kinder to Year 6
Enrolment: 483 students
Alstonville Public School is a large primary school located in NSW’s Northern Rivers.
Their focus on embedding a STEM integrated curriculum and project-based learning pedagogy builds authentic community connections through student learning that enables their vision to develop students who are self–directed learners that are able to learn anywhere, anytime.
They value and visibly promote collective and individual thinking to aid students’ development of deep knowledge, skills, and understanding.
All classes at Alstonville Public School are engaged in learning that focuses on student voice and choice by developing student’s ownership of their learning with a focus on a STEM curriculum.
Student and teacher survey results on what attributes they believed ‘good learners’ possess led to the change in practice. Teachers agreed that although their students are mostly compliant, they could be more engaged and have greater learning ownership.
An analysis of research on how to develop student agency and build students’ future-facing skills saw processes and strategies being implemented through project-based learning pedagogy and a STEM integrated curriculum.
Alstonville Public School teachers show strong growth mindsets which have supported the transformation in the students’ learning environment. Students were involved in sharing their learning regularly with the whole staff.
Inter-stage visits engaged teachers to observe pedagogical change in practice. The dramatic impact of STEM learning on students’ engagement and development of their skills and deep understanding of content and concepts, encouraged teachers to change their practice across the school.
Kirstin Beck, Relieving Principal Kirstin.email@example.com
To access a visual representation of this journey, download the Developing student agency through STEM learning at Alstonville Public School infographic (PDF 71.16KB).
Guiding research or evidence
- CESE- What Works Best
- John Hattie - Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning
- Buck Institute for Education - Project-based learning
- Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians
- Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb: 'Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the National Interest: A Strategic Approach.'
- Drive - Daniel Pink
- Alan November - Who owns the learning?
- Andrew Churches, Ian Jukes, and Lee Crockett: Literacy Is NOT Enough: 21st Century Fluencies for the Digital Age