Funding pulled from science education program
The Federal Government has withdrawn its funding for the Australian Academy of Science’s primary and high school science education programs.
Primary Connections and Science by Doing were established by the Academy and supported by the Government in response to concerns over the quality of science education in schools.
President of the Academy, Professor Suzanne Cory, said that both programs have had outstanding feedback from students and teachers, and both have the capacity to become self-sustaining.
'Independent assessment of Primary Connections and Science by Doing clearly show very positive results,' Professor Cory said.
'Students report that they enjoy science immensely when taught using the Academy’s expert-developed programs, and teachers report increased confidence.'
Educators have expressed grave concerns about the possible cancellation of the programs and how that might impact schools’ capacity to effectively implement the new national science curriculum.
Most primary school teachers have no science training. Primary Connections supports them to integrate science into literacy and numeracy in their everyday classes. Primary Connections units have been purchased by more than half of all Australian primary schools; the program requires a relatively small investment to become self-funding.
Science by Doing enables high school science teachers to present science in a fun, hands-on, engaging manner. It has been successfully piloted in 28 schools across Australia. It plans to develop a comprehensive range of resources for high school teachers and students.
'The Academy is committed to continuing these important programs and wishes to work with the Government to improve the science learning of all Australian students,' Professor Cory said.
More information about PrimaryConnections, Science by Doing, and the scientific literacy of Australian students is at www.science.org.au