School-university partnerships as rich STEM learning contexts for preservice teachers working with primary students

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STEM education in primary classrooms: Unravelling contemporary approaches in Australia and New Zealand, 2020, pp. 100-114
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In this chapter, the authors discuss two science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives – a Design and Make Day and a lunchtime Maths Club – that were designed and implemented in the context of school–university partnerships. They draw on evaluative data gathered from primary students, pre- and in-service teachers and teacher educators who were involved in each of the projects. The authors focus on the nature of the learning for primary students and pre-service teachers (PSTs). The PSTs used their tutorial/workshop time on-campus at university to develop their own understandings of the particular science topic and familiarising themselves with the specific primary connections unit through engaging in some of the activities themselves. The tasks that the PSTs designed for the primary students promoted the relevance of STEM learning and created possibilities for collaboration and emotional engagement through activities with multiple pathways to arrive at a variety of successful solutions.
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