Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

2024 Contemporary Approaches to Research in Mathematics, Science, Health and Environmental Education Symposium

Thursday 21st – Friday 22nd November 2024

Blended (online as well as located in-person) Symposium


Register online for the CAR Symposium.

Download the flier to share with colleagues including HDR students about the Contemporary Approaches to Research Symposium 2024.


The CAR Symposium is a highly successful annual event that is now in its 28th year (starting in 1993 to 2005 and again from 2010 to this year).

We look forward to many more!

Each year the ‘Contemporary approaches to research (CAR) in mathematics, science, health and environmental education’ symposium focuses on practical and theoretical aspects of a range of research methodologies – such as cross-cultural perspectives, activity theory, capturing complexity, classroom video analysis, quantitative methods, and interviewing – which are discussed in a lively, informal setting. The symposium in 2024 will focus on practical and theoretical aspects of research methodology (as usual).

The program will include two keynote speakers and themed sessions with short presentations and longer discussions. We do not host concurrent sessions. We all enjoy rich, friendly discussions about each presentation. In 2024, we are hoping to, once again, host the event in person (located) as well as online. This blended offering will be open to all. Registration is here.

Our Keynote Speakers have been selected to provide challenging perspective on methodology providing insights into new methodological approaches and ontologies. We are pleased to have Professor Linda Hobbs and Professor Justin Dillon and as our the Keynotes for 2024 CAR Symposium.

Linda Hobbs Professor of Science Education, Deakin University

Linda Hobbs is a Professor of Education (Science Education) and Associate Head of School (Research) at Deakin University. Her research interests include teaching out-of-field as a critical teacher workforce issue, STEM education, teacher learning and school change, girls’ participation in STEM, industry-education relationships, partnerships in educations, as well as evaluation of education-based initiatives. She has designed, implemented and evaluated professional learning for primary and secondary teachers of science and STEM for over twelve years. She is Vice President of the Executive board of the Australasian Science Education Research Association, associate editor of the Journal of Science Teacher Education, and convenor of the Out-of-field Teaching Across Specialisations (OOFTAS) Collective.

Justin Dillon Professor of Science and Environmental Education, University College London

Justin Dillon is professor of science and environmental education at University College London. After studying for a degree in chemistry, Justin trained as a teacher and taught in London schools for 10 years. He joined King’s College London in 1989, where he worked as a researcher and teacher educator being appointed professor in 2009. In 2014, Justin was appointed Head of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol. He then joined the University of Exeter in 2017 where he was Director of Research in the School of Education. He returned to London earlier this year to take a chair at UCL. Justin was President of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) from 2007-11 and is President of the UK National Association for Environmental Education. He edits the journal, Studies in Science Education, and is an editor of the International Journal of Science Education.

The Symposium

At the symposium will be grouped into sessions of two to five of the presentations with similar methodological foci, designed to promote substantive discussion of a common methodological issue. Presentations might focus on a) details and settings of the application of a methodology in ways that unpack how the methodology can operate in different contexts, or b) a particular methodological issue, problem, or strategic decision that explores or extends a methodology. The methodological issues should be broadly related to mathematics, science, health, or environmental education. The presentations should provide a grounded practitioner’s perspective.

Presentations will be 12 minutes in duration and should briefly outline the research question being addressed and may include the findings or likely outcomes of the research, but should focus mainly on the research methodology. Reports on work in progress are welcome but the focus is on the methodology.

Following each group of presentations, there will be the opportunity for extended discussion of the focus methodological issue, which may explore different approaches within the methodology (in research design, instruments, theoretical framing, or approaches to analysis), or different methodological approaches to a problem (for instance making sense of teacher practice, or tracking change in learners).

The program starts at 9am and concludes at approximately 5pm each of the two days. We will host an informal book launch of the CAR Book Series at the end of the first day. All are welcome. We will also go for a meal (at own expense) at the end of the first day.

We will offer an opportunity to evaluate this symposium. The link to the online survey will be emailed during the last day of the symposium.

Expression of Interest to Present

The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 11th October 2024.

If you are interested in presenting at this symposium please submit your expression of interest using the form below. All submissions will be acknowledged upon receipt and reviewed by the end of October. Expressions of Interest to Present form


Presentations are to be 12 minutes long (please be respectful by keeping to time). They should briefly outline the research question being addressed and may include the findings or likely outcomes of the research, but should focus on the research methodology. Reports on work in progress are welcome.

You may choose to pre-record presentations. This is essential for all online presenters.  The links will be included in the program and the recording will be played on the day. During the presentation the chat feature of Zoom can be used to start the conversations. Questions can be addressed by typing in the chat and in the following discussion. A feature of the CAR Symposium program is the rich and collegial discussion that follows the presentations in the session.


The program will be published early November 2024.


Register online at CAR Symposium 2024. Please register to attend in person before the 13th November as we need numbers for catering. Registering for the online participation is important so that we can send (email) updated information prior to the event.

Book Series – Contemporary Approaches to Research in STEM Education

All presenters are invited to submit a proposal for a written chapter of 5000 – 7000 words for consideration for publication in the Cambridge Scholars Publishing book series Contemporary Approaches to Research in STEM Education. Proposals for Volume 6 are due on the 7th December 2024. Accepted chapters are due 15th February 2025.

Methodological Approaches to STEM Education Research – Volume 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 will be showcased at the 2024 CAR Symposium (Volume 5 will be launched at a special event).

CAR Coordinators

Associate Professor Peta White, Alfred Deakin Professor Russell Tytler, Dr. Joe Ferguson, and Dr. John Cripps Clark

Enquiries: please email Peta White (

Organised by the STEME Education Research Group in conjunction with the Research for Educational Impact (REDI) Centre.

Posted Nov 15, 2023

21 November 2024, 9:00am to 22 November 2024

Online and Deakin Downtown – Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia