The Future Starts Now : STEM and STEAM Education in Australian Schools

Dr Jane Hunter
Senior Lecturer, STEM Education Futures Research Centre
University of Technology Sydney

Dr Miriam Tanti
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Arts
Australian Catholic University


In this masterclass you will examine evidence from successful STEM and STEAM research in Australian schools conducted by the workshop facilitators. Findings from the studies demonstrate that project-based learning; inquiry and scenario-based pedagogies provide powerful learning opportunities to effectively integrate and connect multiple disciplines. What kinds of assessment practices are effective in STEM and STEAM? How do you evaluate the ‘soft skills’ that align with this curriculum knowledge? What might learning with AI look like in K-12 schools where a ‘personalized approach’ is prioritized for these disciplines? What kinds of data literacy will principals, teachers and students require from now and into the future? Participants will learn how to begin these new conversations in response to such questions in a series of scenarios involving hands on, interactive, creative and team based tasks.


Who Should Attend?

If you like to know that robust education research underpins progressive classroom practices you are asked to lead in your school then this masterclass will be of interest to you. The masterclass is accredited by NESA at the lead level and will also appeal to current leaders, aspiring leaders and classroom teachers in primary and secondary schools who seek to engage with evidence informed practices that act as ‘pressure and support’ for quality learning and teaching in STEM/STEAM as well school futures.

  • Principals/ Executive teams
  • Deputy/ Assistant principals
  • Primary/ Secondary/ Special needs/ teachers
  • Curriculum integration specialists
  • Education/system leaders in STEM/STEAM and future focused learning practitioners


Why Attend?

The masterclass is founded on evidence from current and ongoing education research conducted in STEM/STEAM in Australian primary and secondary schools. Find out how scenario-based pedagogies are an effective lever for teacher, middle leader and school leader development when futures based learning expectations are becoming increasingly more common in schools. Participants will leave with new knowledge, skills and understandings to support successful STEM/STEAM assessment, ways to leverage ‘soft skills’ alongside discipline knowledge, ideas for how to discuss the affordances and apprehensions in AI in education, and knowing important elements in learning analytics and data ethics.


What to Bring?

  • Please BYO laptop device, not just a tablet or iPad. Wireless Internet is provided.



8:00 | Arrival tea and coffee and registration

9:00 | Session 1: What do we know from research in STEM and STEAM In Australian Schools?

This session will examine STEM and STEAM research conducted in Australian primary and secondary school settings. Who were the teachers? What did they focus on? Why is it important education research? What its impact? How could it apply in your school, classroom or professional association?

Learning Outcomes: Participants will gain understandings of effective STEM and STEAM pedagogy, integration and planning processes in schools where research with a university partner using action-learning principles was conducted. What does it mean to lead this kind of professional learning in your classroom, school and, or education system? Where to start? Keeping the participants on track?

10:45 | Morning Tea & Networking 

11:15 | Session 2: Effective assessment in STEM/STEAM, curriculum for the ‘soft skills’ and the shape of personalized learning in classrooms.

This session will examine successful STEM assessment using rubrics and formative processes, it includes provocations for how to teach and assess the ‘soft skills’ in Australian primary and secondary schools with a focus on building teacher capacity and confidence. How might ‘personalized learning’ be approached in mainstream classrooms? In the disciplines? What are the answers? And, where might the challenges be? How can schools, leaders, classroom teachers and local communities prepare?

Learning Outcomes: Participants will use and engage in creating a range of artifacts focused on STEM assessment, ‘soft skill’ curriculum development and personalized learning.

1:00 | Lunch Break 

1:45 | Session 3: Futures using scenarios, AI, data literacy and the new ethics

This session will use a series of international scenarios that focus on AI, data literacy and ethics to generate new thinking about future schools. How might teachers’ work with dashboards and bot assistants in classrooms? What human intelligences will prevail? How do schools take young people, families and communities into these new education contexts?

Learning Outcomes: Participants operating in small teams will work through problems to gain insights into current and future learning scenarios and will be able to use what they learn to engage colleagues in ongoing professional conversations and dialogue focused critical issues in school education futures.

4:00 | Conclusion







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