Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group
Re-imagining futures in STEME
Secondary Mathematics and Science Initiative – Research and Evaluation
In Victoria, the State Government Department of Education and Training (DET) has committed funds to the Secondary Science and Mathematics Initiative (SMSI). Deakin has been contracted to design and deliver graduate certificates in secondary mathematics and science. Supports are provided for teachers as they are challenged to return to study and complete the course while continuing to teach in their schools.
Teachers from Government schools who are teaching out-of-field in mathematics or science are funded to undertake the graduate certificates. This ‘upskills’ them, makes them qualified, and therefore no longer considered ‘out-of-field’ but ‘in-field’.
The Research and Evaluation
Deakin University and DET are partnering to conduct research and an evaluation of the SMSI in 2021 and 2022. We will ensure sure that the data collection activities are streamlined and designed to be as quick and easy as possible for you.
The aim is to support the design of quality and effective professional learning programs for out-of-field teachers.
We encourage you to have your say and participate in the research and evaluation activities to help shape and improve the program.
If you have any questions:
The Graduate Certificate courses will be designed and implemented using a Design-Based Research methodology, which involves iterative cycles of monitoring of teacher needs and responses through surveys, interviews and field notes, leading to redesign and refinement as the courses progress. Analysis will encompass the Graduate Certificates and the CIRCLS activities (as both are part of the teacher learning experience). Research is central to the program development, creating new knowledge concerning ways to effectively support OOF teachers in the particular Victorian and Mathematics and Science contexts, but with implications for such professional learning generally.
The evaluation is being led by the DET Evaluation Team which is separate to the area of the Department that delivers the program. We ask and gather feedback from you which we treat confidentially, and then use your feedback to produce reports for the program delivery team to help them understand how the program is going throughout the year and if any adaptations are needed.
The evaluation ran last year and gathered feedback from teachers in the SMSI’s first intake. As a result of this feedback, the program has been adapted and changed for 2022 in response to what teachers and school leaders have told us about their experience with the program.
This year, Deakin and DET will be asking you to complete a short survey at three time points in the course – at the beginning, middle and at the end so we can use and respond to your feedback during the year as well as track any changes in your views, knowledge and skills about the subject you are enrolled in.
Deakin will be conducting interviews during trimester 1 and 2.
The DET Evaluation will also be asking schools participating in the SMSI in October whether they would like to participate in case study interviews so we can understand different schools’ experiences in participating in the program.
The DET Evaluation and Deakin Research Teams will ensure sure that the data collection activities are streamlined and designed to be as quick and easy as possible for you. All the data you provide to us is de-identified and only reported at a high-level so no individuals or schools can be identified in the evaluation.
We encourage you to take up the opportunity this year to have your say in the evaluation and research activities so we can continue to learn about how the program is working for you and how it can be improved.
Getting involved in the research and evaluation
You will be invited through the Course Hub on Cloud Deakin to participate in the various events. Below are the CURRENT data collection events, with access links.
- Date: 3 – 18 February 2021
- Access the Survey: https://researchsurveys.deakin.edu.au/jfe/form/SV_4Hi2l0TH9qiz3PE
Trimester 1 interviews
- Date: 10 February – 4 March
- Show your interest here (also accessible through the SMSI survey): https://researchsurveys.deakin.edu.au/jfe/form/SV_0H6NnILH3zyDqEC
- Interviews will be conducted by Dr Michael Fitzgerald: email@example.com
Learn more about
- The Evaluation: Amanda Reeves – DET: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Deakin Research: Linda Hobbs – Deakin University: email@example.com
- Teaching out-of-field and the SMSI: https://www.aare.edu.au/blog/?p=9357 EduResarch Matters article “What to do when our schools run out of the teachers they urgently need”