Bursary recipients completing the Indigenous perspectives activity at the two-day workshop.

PrimaryConnections in Launceston

Published 01 December 2016

Eighty-one future teachers of science gave up their Friday and Saturday (September 1 - 2, 2016) to attend a Primary Connections Ready pre-service teacher workshop at the University of Tasmania in Launceston.

With a large distance education cohort, several students from UTAS based in Melbourne and Hobart registered to attend the event (some of which had only ever had contact with their peers online). In order to help them with the cost of travel to attend the workshop, bursary grants up to $400 were awarded to eight students thanks to the generous donations given to Primary Connections via the Academy's Enlightening Campaign.

All eight of these bursary recipients expressed that their personal goal for attending the two-day event was to improve their confidence in teaching science. Over half of the 81 workshop attendees expressed a below 50% confidence rate in their ability to teach science prior to this workshop. Vanessa Shaw, who travelled from Hobart thanks to the bursary, stated, “This professional learning experience has been the most valuable PD I have attended during my university study, and has immensely improved my confidence to teach science. Thank you!” Kylie Kidd, a bursary recipient from Melbourne, acknowledged that she gained the confidence to actively approach her school and volunteer to teach the science unit during her placement as a result of attending the workshop.

The following statement was made in the post-workshop evaluation form after the two day training by Stephanie Cummings, also one of the eight bursary recipients:

“I came to this PD with a real desire to increase my self-efficacy regarding science teaching. I am passionate about education and it was concerning me that I felt quite anxious teaching and planning for science, particularly in year 5 and 6. This PD has greatly increased my confidence and beliefs that I can do this well. Thank you so much for investing in me as an individual. I hope that I am an advocate for change in schools and for the full implementation of the Australian Curriculum. Every aspect of the time was incredibly beneficial and I feel so much more confident about implementing Science in the classroom in a way that will challenge, extend, enthuse and interest student curiosity. The facilitators, Rachel and Nicola, were incredibly knowledgeable and professional as well as warm, friendly and encouraging. The two days went so quickly and I valued every minute of it. Thank you for the generosity in making a bursary available. I would have been unable to attend without this assistance and I am so grateful for it.” 

Stephanie Cummings completing the ‘Explore’ phase of the PC-Ready workshop in Launceston.

Stephanie Cummings completing the ‘Explore’ phase of the PC-Ready workshop in Launceston.