Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

2018 Contemporary Approaches to Research in Mathematics, Science, Health and Environmental Education Symposium

8 – 9 November 2018

Deakin University, Melbourne City Centre
Level 3, 550 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Download the conference poster

The symposium will focus on practical and theoretical aspects of research methodology. It follows the highly successful symposia held annually from 1993 to 2005 and again from 2010 to 2018, in which methodological techniques and issues (such as socio-cultural perspectives, productive use of quantitative data, collaborative practitioner research designs, analysing discourse) have been discussed in a lively, informal setting.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Per-Olof Wickman
Stockholm University

Per-Olof Wickman is Director of Science Education Research in the Department of Mathematics and Science Education (MND), coordinator of the Graduate Research School in Subject Didactics for teachers in collaboration with municipalities in the Stockholm region, and coordinator of the Graduate Research School Didactic Modeling in Science Education financed by the Swedish Research Council.

His research interest is in didactics defined as teachers’ professional science. Within this framework he develops conceptual models that education researchers and teachers can use for analysis in planning, realising and assessing lessons with regard to content, methods and the student group taught. His research is mainly within the field of school science education, but many of the models developed are more general and have been adopted for other subjects, educational levels and areas. Together with schools and fellow researchers he has advanced models to:

  • help analyse how the interactions in the classroom translate into the learning of specific content (practical epistemology analysis)
  • how students and teachers can organise the continuity between the different classroom activities and purposes to support the progression of student learning (modeling organising purposes), and
  • how teachers can support and aid the constitution of students’ interest for the subject taught (modeling the aesthetics of the subject).

The models are tried out together with teachers to make them more useful.

Didactics and Didactic Models in Science Education

Per-Olof Wickman gives a methodological account of a central research field in the European didactics tradition, namely didactic modelling, analysis and design. He will review what didactic models are, how they can be produced through didactic modelling and how didactic models can be used for analysing teaching and learning and for educational designs. He will also explain the importance of mangling models with teachers and the importance of documenting exemplars of model use. Examples of didactics models in science education are given throughout in the presentation.


Professor Maija Aksela
University of Helsinki

Professor Maija Aksela has over 30 years of experience in science education and teacher education in Finland. She has three duties: she is the Director of the national LUMA Centre Finland (a network of 12 Finnish science and technology universities); Director of the University of Helsinki’s Science Education Centre (a part of LUMA Centre Finland); and Director of the Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Helsinki.

Professor Aksela has used design-based research in her research projects since the year 2002. Many research projects support both formal and non-formal science education in the context of LUMA Centre Finland. For example, professor Aksela is in charge of the large LUMA Finland program of the LUMA Centre during the years 2014–19 that is sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Education.

Professor Aksela has published over 300 papers and books. She has many international collaborative tasks and activities, for example she has been Finland’s representative of the ALLEA (ALL European Academies) working group on Science Education since 2010. Professor Aksela has received altogether 14 honors or awards.

New Solutions and Pedagogical Innovations into Math, Science and Technology Education through Design-Based Research

Design-based research as a quite new research methodology has been found as a relevant tool for creating new solutions and pedagogical innovations into math, science and technology education.

It can be defined as a strategy for developing, refining, and testing theories, rather than a way to implement theories for testing with traditional research methodologies (Edelson, 2002).

It helps us to understand relationships among educational theory, designed artifacts, and practice. Three types of knowledge can be obtained through it:

  • design solution
  • design methodologies
  • domain knowledge.

The opportunities and challenges of design-based research are presented with concrete examples in the context of LUMA Centre Finland.

Click here to download the presentation paper – Aksela_Design-based research CAR 2018.


Thursday 8th November 2018
9.20–9.30amWelcome and Opening RemarksRussell Tytler
9.30–10.30amKeynote: New Solutions and Pedagogical Innovations into Math, Science and Technology Education through Design-Based Research

(Presentation First halfSecond half)

Maija Aksela
10.30–10.50amMorning tea
10.50–12.10pmUnfolding Methodological ProcessesChair: Russell Tytler
‘Contextual Elucidation’: Foregrounding context during cross country comparison of German and Australian Principals’ attitudes towards teaching out-of-fieldLinda Hobbs and Raphaela Porsch
Mixed Methods Research to Investigate the Impact of Formative Assessment on Science Teaching in NSW SchoolsJim Scott
The Application of a Delphi Study to navigate a safe passage through STEM EducationAnn Osman
Developing a Position on Environmental Education Through a Consensus ProcessPeta White, Sally Birdsall and Fabian Sack
1.10–2.30pm‘Post’ methodologiesChair: Peta White
Posthumanism as a methodological tool in environmental learning researchHelen Widdop Quinton, Maia Osborn, Simone Blom and Claudio Aguayo
Posthuman pedagogies: diffraction and atmospheres in environmental education researchSimone Blom
Storying climate change with an entangled voiceBlanche Verlie
Compostography: A new methodology for researching in the AnthropoceneAlicia Flynn
2.30-2.50pmAfternoon tea

2.50–3.50pmQuestions of PositioningChair: Joe Ferguson
Utilizing the Technologies of the Self to Better Understand Teachers’ Perceptions of Agency when Teaching Out-of-FieldEmily Rochette
A model for teacher professional learning: An investigation into the characteristics that contribute to sustained improvement in teaching practicesPauline Thompson
Learnings From Assisted Personal Reflection: Using self-study methodologyDavid Symington, Peta White and Russell Tytler
3.50-4pmShort break
4–4.40pmQuestions of Positioning (2)Chair: Linda Hobbs
Mature-aged students’ experience of learning mathematics in regional vocational education: Challenges of insider researchRichard Voss
Flipped Methodologies: Approaches to Constructing and Deconstructing Discourse Communities through Catalysed ReflectionDavid Clarke, Ann Osman and Carmel Mesiti

Friday 9th November 2018

9.00amWelcome to Day TwoRussell Tytler
9.05–10.05amKeynote: Didactics and Didactic Models in Science EducationPer-Olof Wickman
10.05–10.25amMorning tea

10.25–11.25amVideo AnalysisChair: Vaughan Prain
Theory and Methodology: A Question of Mutual AffordancesMan Ching Esther Chan and David Clarke
Case Study of Relative Paces of Thinking in Group Problem Solving: Analytical Tools Enabled by Video Stimulated Interview MethodologyGaye Williams
Challenges of video-based micro-ethnographic analyses of representational workVaughan Prain and Russell Tytler
11.25 – 11.35amShort break
11.35–12.35pmPerspectives on Meaning MakingChair: George Aranda
Establishing an interpretive focus in a video ethnography studyRussell Tytler, Joseph Ferguson and Peta White
Multimodal representations and model-based reasoning about physical and chemical changes in a primary science classroomLihua Xu, Jan van Driel and Ryan Healy
Emotional energy: A resource for sense-making in science learningJames Davis
1.35–2.35pmTheory and MethodologyChair: Coral Campbell
Struggling with confusionJoe Ferguson, Russell Tytler, Radhika Gorur and George Aranda
Using Design-Based Research to investigate relations between subject culture in secondary arts education and social media practicesStephen Thompson
Film noir resuscitates Peirce through a strange costume: Getting to know Peirce through the lens of The Third ManJoe Ferguson and John Cripps Clark
2.35–2.55pmAfternoon Tea
2.55–3.55pmFocus on AnalysisChair: Lihua Xu
Secondary Analysis of Data: Seeing the forest and the treesChris Speldewinde and Coral Campbell
Exploring the embodied and distributed nature of unplugged programming through videoJoe Ferguson and George Aranda
A model for analysing how systems create the conditions for needing and responding to out-of-field teachingLinda Hobbs, Colleen Vale, Christopher Speldewinde and Coral Campbell
3.55-4.10pmClosing session (please complete the online evaluation)

Symposium ends
Please join us for light refreshments

Sponsored by Research for Educational Impact (REDI) in conjunction with the STEME Education Research Group

Posted Sep 23, 2018

8 November 2018, 12:00am to 9 November 2018
Deakin DowntownLevel 12, Tower 2, Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne