A Background in Science: What Science means for Australian Society 2012
This study looks beyond career pathways to understand the influence of a science education and background on people’s lives more broadly. The study collected input from people who identified as having a background in science irrespective of occupation of field of study. The findings are relevant to universities designing curricula, employers looking to recruit people with scientific ways of thinking and to governments considering science education policies and priorities.
Who’s teaching Science: Meeting the demand for qualified science teachers in Australian secondary schools Who’s teaching Science reports on surveys of 1207 secondary science teachers and 266 heads of science departments in secondary schools. The schools were a stratified random sample of secondary schools taking into account state, region, sector and socio-economy in determining the sample. The aim was to fill in a paucity of data, noted by the Kwong Lee Dow report Australia’sTeachers: Australia’s Future, on the qualifications in discipline areas of science teachers and the views of heads of science departments on the needs of schools. This report shows that there is a serious difficulty in producing a scientifically-literate and scientifically-expert nation because, for example, 25% of Year 12 Physics teachers have not studied Physics past 1st year at university. The studied was conducted by Kerri-Lee Harris, Felicity Jensz and Gabrielle Baldwin of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne and launched in April 2005.
Science at the Crossroads? A study of trends in university science from Dawkins to now, 1989 – 2002 Science at the Crossroads is an examination of enrolment trends in Science and Information Technology. It looks at the number of and growth in student enrolments, and the subjects students are studying as components of their university degrees. It considers the period since the reforms in higher education which followed Education Minister John Dawkins Green and White Papers in the late 1980s. The study was conducted by Ian R Dobson, Centre for Population & Urban Research, Monash University and commissioned by the Australian Council of Deans of Science, October 2003.
Is the Study of Science in Decline? An Occasional paper by the Australian Council of Deans of Science Crises in education and innovations systems do not occur dramatically. It is hard to pick one particular point in time when they can be said to have happened. The ACDS study Trends in Science Education warned five years ago of the declining trend in Australia’s human infrastructure in science and technology. Science at the Crossroads? provides a second warning, and shows how seriously the first one needed to be taken. A third warning will be unnecessary, either because Governments and public authorities will acknowledge the problem and act, or because it will be too late. We would prefer them to act now.
What did you do with your science degree? A national study of employment outcomes for Science degree holders 1990-2000, prepared for the Australian Council of Deans of Science (ACDS) by Craig McInnis, Robyn Hartley and Malcolm Anderson, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne