LIA Framework at a glance

In reimagining science education, the Australian Academy of Science Education has developed the LIA Framework that connects contemporary research on science education, science identity and science capital.

Designed to be applicable in both primary and secondary teaching, the framework aims to equip students with a consistent approach that builds student’s knowledge, skills, and identity that will prepare them for the scientific challenges beyond the classroom.



Launch phase:

The Launch phase is designed to increase the science capital in a classroom by asking questions that elicit and explore students’ experiences. It uses local and global contexts and real-world phenomena that encourages students to ask questions, explore concepts, and engage with the Core Concepts that anchor each unit.

Each Launch phase consists of a series of teaching and learning routines that provide opportunities for students to:

  • Experience science in a real-world context and Empathise with the people who experience the problems science seeks to solve,
  • Anchor the experience to the Core concepts that students will explore,
  • Elicit students’ prior experiences, existing science capital and potential alternative conceptions related to the Core concepts,
  • Connect the students’ lives, language, and interests to the anchored Core concepts.

These routines will provide opportunities for diagnostic assessment and support for students to develop the necessary representational capabilities.

The related professional learning will guide and encourage teachers to use local contexts to establish a learning community that links to the key ideas of science.

Inquire phase:

The Inquire phase allows students to cycle progressively and with increasing complexity through the key science ideas related to the core concepts. Each inquire cycle is divided into three teaching and learning routines that allow students to systematically build their knowledge and skills in science and incorporate them into their current understanding of the world.

  • Questions are identified and encouraged during the Launch phase of the LIA Framework. Identifying and constructing questions is the creative driver of the inquiry process. Reviewing past activities and using effective questioning techniques can influence students’ view and interpretation of upcoming content.
  • Investigate: This provides students with an opportunity to explore the key ideas of science, to plan and conduct an investigation, to gather and record data. The investigations are designed to systematically develop content knowledge and skills through increasingly complex processes of structured inquiry, guided inquiry and open inquiry approaches. The data is processed to identify trends and patterns that relate to the real-world context experienced in the Launch phase.
  • Integrate: Following an investigation, data is evaluated, representations consolidated and refined, and anchored to the Core concepts and key ideas of science. This makes student thinking visible and formative feedback opportunities. It may lead to further questions being asked, allowing the Inquire phase to start again.

Repeated inquiry cycles support students to deepen their understanding of the Core concepts and key ideas, improve their application of science practices, ultimately empowering them to act.

Act phase:

The Act phase empowers students to use the Core concepts and key ideas of science they have learned during the Inquire phase. It provides students with opportunities to

  • Anchor their understanding of the Core concepts, and
  • Connect these to real-world examples experienced in the Launch phase, so that students develop the agency to,
  • Design solutions to problems or ways to use their science knowledge, increase their science capital and,
  • Communicate their ideas effectively to others, advancing science and influencing the community in general.

Throughout these Teaching and Learning Routines, a teacher provides formative feedback on the representations presented by students. The final product also provides opportunities for summative assessment.

By anchoring phenomena in real-world contexts, supporting students to develop their understanding of that phenomena, and applying this knowledge and understanding in new and genuine contexts, students can appreciate the relevance of their learning, and its potential impact on future decisions. In short, it moves beyond scientific literacy and increases the science capital in the classroom and science identity of the students.