James Cook University

James Cook University Step Up Initiative

The Step Up project is one of five projects funded under the Enhancing the Training of Mathematics and Science Teachers (ETMST) Programme, in response to the 2012 report by former Australian Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb: Mathematics, Engineering and Science in the National Interest.

Step Up aims to transform the nature and delivery of pre-service secondary mathematics and science teaching in Queensland. Through effecting step changes in courses, partnerships, academic practice and student recruitment, Step Up’s outcomes include:

  1. A significant increase in the number of students specialising in secondary mathematics and science teaching in areas of need.
  2. Collaborative curriculum design and delivery, formalised in and or explicitly aligned with course structures and processes.
  3. A learning community of emerging mathematics and science teachers actively engaged in an inter-disciplinary, professional community of practice.
  4. Strong mathematics/science knowledge and pedagogy amongst secondary mathematics and science teacher education students and graduates.
  5. Partnerships that provide mechanisms for sustained resourcing and implementation.

The Step Up programs connect pre-service teachers to a range of Step Up co-curricular initiatives including learning, professional development and networking opportunities; supporting a range of Step Up outcomes and helping to develop a support network amongst emerging STEM teachers who are implementing new models/approaches.

James Cook University Education Department has partnered with Reef Magic Education to run a pilot project under the Step Up Initiative. This will allow pre service teachers to work with local, national and international students on reef education and research projects. Activities will focus on experiential learning leading to a deeper understanding of the Great Barrier Reef and Sea Country Connections. Students will examine the social, cultural, spiritual, economic and environmental context of the Great Barrier Reef in relation to local and global communities.