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

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

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

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 2017, 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.

It is expected that academic researchers and higher degree by research students will gain from the symposium. Please encourage your research students to come even if you cannot attend.

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.


Register online at:

This event is free for Deakin University staff and students.

The cost for others is:

Full registration                                          $50 per day
Students not in full-time employment   $30 per day

The above fee includes morning and afternoon tea, and lunch. (Dinner is not included).

For enquiries please email:

Expression of Interest: Presentations

The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 5 October 2018.

Each of the two days will feature a keynote speaker introducing a methodological perspective.

Presentations at the symposium will be grouped into sessions of four to five presentations designed to promote focused discussion of a methodological issue. The methodological issues should be broadly related to mathematics, science, health, or environmental education. Following each presentation session, there will be the opportunity for extended discussion of methodological issues, theoretical framing, research design, instruments and their application, and approaches to analysis. There is equal time devoted to discussion as to presentations.

Presentations will be of 10 to 15 minutes duration. Each presentation 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.

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 shortly after.  The draft program will be released three weeks prior to the event.

Presenters will be invited to submit a short written paper of 3 to 5 pages for online publication in the symposium proceedings.  Please use the CAR Symposium Template.

You may view past presentations here.

( This submission form has been retired )

Posted Sep 23, 2018

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