Quantitative skills in science: curriculum models for the future
Report Publication Date: N/A
Primary Project Leader
Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC)
Source: Priority Projects
Numerous national and international reports have recently called for urgent actions to address the deteriorating quantitative skills (QS) and confidence of students at secondary and tertiary levels. This is particularly true in science, where such skills are essential for graduate competence and preparedness. Addressing the broad decline in QS will require substantial changes to science curricula, but individuals and institutions are struggling to understand how to best achieve this in practice. This project will address the challenge, by: conducting international benchmarking of undergraduate science curriculum structures; identifying proven institutional curriculum change processes in national and international institutions; and developing a framework whereby interdisciplinary collaboration can take place in order to promote and nurture the development of QS in science students and curricula. A particular strength of this project is the active involvement of an impressive team, including presidents and executive members of a number of key stakeholder groups (such as FASTS, ICMI, MERGA, HERDSA and ACDS).
The QS in Science team is very interested in the discussion paper put forward by the newly created Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). Similar to many countries, Australia is moving in the accountability direction. Our initial data is highlighting a lack of evidence and evaluation for science-specific learning outcomes, a concern not only for making evidence-based curricular decisions, but also in light of shifting government policies. Whilst ?threshold learning outcomes? for science undergraduates have been articulated at a national level in Australia, work is needed on how we evidence their achievement and the QS in Science project will offer some models for how this can be done in Australia. What are your ideas, concerns, thoughts or questions about evidencing science learning outcomes? What can be learned from the experiences of our international colleagues? Let us know what you think by posting a comment on our website.
- Higher Education
- Professional Development
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