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Re-imagining futures in STEME

Secondary Mathematics and Science Initiative (SMSI) for DET teachers.

Posted by Assoc. Prof. Peta White on September 17, 2021

Are you currently teaching mathematics or science in a DET school and not qualified to teach this subject? This makes you an ‘out-of-field’ teacher. The DET SMS Initiative has been designed to provide you with the expertise and qualification to enable you to be considered an ‘in-field’ mathematics or science teacher by DET.

In this qualification you will address how to make learning meaningful for students, experience up-to-date teaching practices and activities informed by current research and to engage with contemporary mathematics and science. 

Whether you are a relative novice or experienced at teaching mathematics out of field, participants in the mathematics course have affirmed that the course can enrich your knowledge and practice of teaching and learning mathematics.

If you are a qualified Science teacher yet feel under-confident in some disciplines of Science then this course may provide expertise and confidence across all disciplines required in lower secondary science. We will also explore how to include general capabilities and cross-curricular priorities in your teaching.

 If you are a DET Teacher then SMSI may be for you!

SMSI provides you the opportunity to gain a fully funded university qualification, Graduate Certificate of Secondary Mathematics or Science, through Deakin University, a leading Australian tertiary institution with recognised expertise in out-of-field teaching. The course is closely aligned to the classroom context and is of 9 months duration during 2022. DET will fully fund the course and provide funding to your school for time release to study. There is additional support offered to all especially those of you who may be returning to study after a while out of university.

Quotes from teachers completing the course in 2021: 


  • This course has made me realise how important it is to use mathematical problems with a real life context and how you can use a range of everyday life situations in mathematics to engage students.
  • The importance of engaging students in mathematical thinking, posing questions, making inferences and supporting their position.
  • I have learnt a lot about conjecturing and putting students as the authors of their own learning and ideas.
  • I feel like I have a new found enjoyment of maths – what used to be a set of procedures (which is how I have always felt about Maths) is now so much more. I am really looking forward to working with our maths coordinator at school and making changes to the way we teach and approach maths.
  • The sheer number of activities and resources that I have now been exposed to has been the best, many of the activities we’ve done in the workshop, I have taken straight into the classroom or with modifications.


  • The activities in the workshops allowed me to make the connection between science, chemistry, and cross-curriculum priorities. Wow! I have already shared this with colleagues.
  • I was totally prepared due to completing the preparation tasks. They were a great way to be set up for the intensives. The short sharp activities were appreciated and we could return to them at a later time.
  • I now have a plethora of resources! I am appreciative of the sharing and collaboration from all… while I scaffold my classes I can incorporate and direct students into inquiry questions.
  • The support and information that Deakin is offering has been fantastic.
  • I found the ideas around how to link biology teaching to Indigenous perspectives, sustainability really interesting and will take some of the ideas with me going forward.

For further information and expressions of interest please visit: SMSI 2022

The SMSI 2022 Flyer might be useful to share this information with your colleagues.

Not a DET teacher? For further enquiries, please contact: Amanda Peters, Project Manager

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