Welcome to the Home Page of the
ACT Centre for Science, ICT and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR ACT)
A hub of the National Centre for Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education in Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR) has been established at the Australian Catholic University, Canberra Campus (Signadou), and linked to the main centre at UNE. The SiMERR mission is to improve the quality of learning for regional students in the areas of Science, ICT and Mathematics. The National Centre based at Armidale, New England and its network of state and territory hub organisations will conduct research and professional development activities for primary, secondary and tertiary educators. SiMERR is funded by the Department of Transport and Regional Services.
SiMERR works with schools and communities to achieve improved educational outcomes for all students in the areas of science, ICT and mathematics, so that:
- Parents can send their children to rural or regional schools knowing they will experience equal opportunities for a quality education;
- Students can attend rural or regional schools realising their academic potential in science, ICT and mathematics; and
- Teachers can work in rural or regional schools and be professionally connected and supported.
Members of the ACT SiMERR Hub are:
Current Hub Activities
- Issues in Teaching and Learning Science, ICT, and Mathematics in Rural and Regional Australia: A National Survey
- Supporting the SiMERR National Survey of Science, ICT and Mathematics Education with detailed interview data. The national Survey is one of the largest ever undertaken in Australia, and extends across schools in all States and Territories. Every primary and secondary teacher involved in science, ICT and mathematics education in non-metropolitan schools will be invited to have their say on a range of issues, from the benefits of teaching in country schools, to coping with professional isolation. In order to provide data for comparison, a large number of city schools in each state and territory will also be invited to participate.
- Context-Rich Integrated Mathematics and Science (CRIMS)
- An ASISTM Project in association with Merici College, St Clares College, St Francis Xavier College and Daramalan College, ADFA and Texas Instruments.
- CRIMS aims to produce 25 well-developed and tested context-based teaching resources to promote innovation and student interest. These tasks will integrate maths and science, be inquiry based and student-centred. Teachers and industry partners will collaborate on their planning. The project intends to involve students in data logging, excursions and the use of handheld technology. Designed for Years 7 to 10, the resources will be trialled at multiple partner schools and will be transferable to other schools nationally through CRIMS-online.
- Getting Ready for Learning Objects: Examining Technological and Pedagogical Readiness for the Implementation of Learning Objects in ACT Schools
- This ACU-IRIS grant project examines aspects of readiness on the part of ACT schools and teachers with regard to the effective implementation of Information and Communications Technologies, particularly Le@rning Federation Stage 1 Learning Objects (released to schools by ACT Department of Education and Training during 2004 and with specific focus on literacy, mathematics and science). Preliminary evaluation of these Learning Objects (Chapuis, 2003, 23) indicates two key variables in this regard, referred to here as technological readiness (hardware, access, personnel and policy issues) and pedagogical readiness (knowledge, skills, beliefs and attitudes of teachers relevant to the use of Information and Communication Technologies in general, and Learning Objects in particular). The project is a joint venture involving ACU, the Canberra-Goulburn Catholic Education Office, the University of Canberra and the ACT Department of Education and Training.
- Please feel free to complete the online survey for this project.
- Family-School Partnerships Project
- This joint project between members of the ACT SiMERR hub, the ACU Flagship for Mathematics Education and Literacy Research and Saulwick Muller Social Research is a Federally-funded project which aims to administer and facilitate the trialling in schools of innovative family-school partnership models and assist the documentation and analysis of their action research. The team involved will describe approaches and strategies that ACT Project Schools have used and identify and analyse common characteristics of successful family-school partnerships from their experiences. In this way, the aim is to document key outcomes, learnings and case studies that will inform and guide the broader uptake of good practice in family-school partnerships.
- ASISTM Critical Friends Project
- Jointly with the ACU Flagship for Mathematics and Literacy Education Research, members of the ACT SiMERR Hub will be involved as Critical Friends to assist in the evaluation and improvement of various successful ASISTM Projects in the region.
For more information concerning SiMERR ACT, please contact Associate Professor Catherine McLoughlin.