11 November 2013
The University of the Sunshine Coast has won a competitive national grant worth almost $600,000 to evaluate new higher education projects designed to enhance the training of science and mathematics teachers across Australia.
USC Executive Projects Unit Director Don Maconachie has received $595,000 from the Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching to lead the evaluation with Dr Craig McInnis of high-profile education consultancy PhillipsKPA.
“This grant reflects USC’s and PhillipsKPA’s previous successful work for the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) and will raise USC’s profile and reputation as we work collegially with far more established institutions,” Mr Maconachie said.
USC and PhillipsKPA will, over four years, evaluate the progress and outcomes of five OLT-funded collaborative projects involving 27 Australian universities, led by Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, Southern Cross University, Macquarie University and Melbourne University.
The five large projects focus on the development of new approaches to pre-service teacher training to drive improvements in the quality of mathematics and science teaching.
“Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb wants to improve the preparation of maths and science teachers so they can inspire more young people to enter Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers,” he said. “These areas are important economic drivers.”
Mr Maconachie, Dr McInnis and USC Executive Projects Unit Coordinator Kate Chivers are currently planning the first annual meeting for members of the consortia for March, 2014.
— Julie Schomberg