CRIMS PROFESSIONAL LEARNING
|Project Title||CRIMS 2PL – Context Rich Integrated Maths and Science Professional Learning|
|Project Team||Ms Sue Wilson (SiMERR ACT)|
|Period||February 2007 – April 2008|
|Funding Agency||Australian Schools Innovations in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM – Round 3)|
|Organisational Base||SiMERR ACT|
CRIMS 2 – Context Rich Integrated Maths and Science Professional Learning builds on the CRIMS 1 ASISTM project and extends the model’s reach creating a partnership with the National Centre of Science, ICT and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia. It delivered teacher professional development (PD) workshops on creating and using open-ended investigations and problem-based activities, including constructivism and student-centred learning. It established collaboration between different schools and provided access to Teacher Associates. A forum is to be held to evaluate the model for use in rural schools. The project aimed to improve resources and the quality of teaching in mathematics and science, and to increase the real-life context of education in these areas. The innovative real-world classroom resources written and trialled by practising teachers fully integrate both mathematics and science areas. The CRIMS Newsletters publicised activities and upcoming events, maintained contact between the schools and updated School Principals on the CRIMS project.
Teachers reported that pedagogical change was stimulated by the professional learning activities. These sessions introduced teachers to innovative ways of teaching, reflection and discussion about modification of their own teaching practices. Teachers shared observations of student activities and samples of student work from the CRIMS activities that they have started in the schools and reflected on their observations of student activities. They developed professionally and contributed to the PD days.
- Wilson, S. (2007, July). The CRIMS Context Rich Integrated Maths and Science Projects. In Milton, K., Reeves, H. & Spencer, T. (Eds) Mathematics: Essential for Learning, Essential for Life. (Proceedings of the 21st Biennial Conference of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, Adelaide, pp. 398-403). Adelaide: AAMT Inc.
- Wilson, S. (2007, July). CRIMS: Context Rich Integrated Maths and Science. Paper presented at the annual conference of the World Conference on Science and Technology Education, Perth.
- Wilson, S. (2007, September). CRIMS: Context Rich Integrated Maths and Science. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Mathematics Association of New South Wales, Port Macquarie.
- Wilson, S. (2007, November). CRIMS: Context Rich Integrated Maths and Science. Poster session presented at the Summit of the National Centre for Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia, Canberra, Australia.
- Wilson, S. (2007, December). Context Rich Integrated Maths and Science. Paper presented at the annual conference for Leaders in Primary and Secondary Mathematics. Melbourne.
- Wilson, S. (2007). UNESCO International Science Education Policy Forum organised by ICASE/ASTA. Invited delegate. Perth, July.
Teachers reported that the professional learning activities and collaboration with colleagues enabled them to implement new ideas in their classrooms, and led to wider discussion, for example with the whole staff at Carroll College. This is an important aspect to sustain the activities beyond the end of the project.
Teacher feedback has described ongoing change within schools. Sustained changes in curriculum resulted from the CRIMS project, for example at Merici College the integrated science and mathematics subject is now part of the curriculum for all Year 7 classes, and at Daramalan College CREST science projects are completed by all students in Years 7 – 10.
Rural teachers in particular commented on the value of sharing ideas with other teachers, and the benefits of the PD days. Discussion with colleagues, examination of student work samples and reflection encouraged modification of their own teaching. Reference to the Statements of Learning and Professional Standards helped stimulation of discussion of ways to make connections between Mathematics and Science.
There was international and national dissemination of the teacher professional learning activities developed for the project during conference presentations in Hobart, Perth and Port Macquarie. Professional development workshops, conference presentations and articles informed a national and international audience. Professional learning activities and CRIMS tasks were made freely available in an online format through the updated project website, CRIMSonline.
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