Research within the STEM Education Research Group is aligned to five main themes, all related to one another, and together contributing to the development of new perspectives and developments in STEM education research.
Strengths Approaches to STEM Education
Strengths approaches focus on the use of individuals’ and groups’ unique resources and capacities to help address the challenges they may face. Rather than focus on deficits, strengths approaches highlight what individuals can do in STEM, and provide a positive foundation upon which to build. Projects aligned to this theme emphasise strengths-based views of learners and educators in STEM education, and adopt methodologies that enable participants and stakeholders to share their voices, knowledges, and resources.
STEM Education Transitions and Trajectories
This theme focuses on individuals’ learning journeys in STEM education. Encompassing the learning continuum from early childhood to adult education, projects within this theme attend to critical transition points in an individual’s STEM education journey. In particular, projects emphasise ways of promoting positive transitions so that learners’ STEM education trajectories can be supported and sustained.
Affective Domain of STEM Education
The affective domain of STEM education focuses on individuals’ personal emotions and motivations in relation to their STEM learning and teaching. This theme broadly considers the notion of engagement in STEM education, and the factors that may enable or constrain this engagement.
STEM Education for Flourishing Rural and Regional Communities
It is well established that learners and educators in rural and regional communities experience unique challenges in relation to STEM education. This theme relates to research which focuses on factors that enable rural and regional STEM education communities to thrive, particularly through identifying and sustaining their community STEM resources. Moreover, this theme adopts a discourse of “flourishing” rural communities, shifting the narrative away from a deficit/metro-centric view of rural education.
Digital Education and Innovation
Projects within this theme are developing timely and novel approaches to, and adaptations of, digital education and innovations. Additionally, research within this theme adopts a critical lens on digital technologies, emphasising relevant and meaningful uses of technologies and digital practices.