Plenary Lecture 2:

Can we make a difference in primary science?

Shelley Peers, Primary Connections Project, Australian Academy of Science

30th September, 08.45 – 10.00

With less than 3% of teaching time in Australian primary schools being used for science, the Primary Connections: linking science with literacy project has been welcomed by Australian teachers. This presentation explores the design principles for the development of the professional learning materials and curriculum resources.

Primary Connections is an inquiry-based approach which embeds the teaching and learning of ‘literacies of science’. Units and the professional learning DVD have won the Australian Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing in the Teaching and Learning category. Research on the impact of the program will also be explored.

Primary Connections is an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science and is currently funded by the Australian Government Department of Education with grants totalling AU $9.7 million from 2005 to 2010. More information is at

Biographical Notes

Shelley Peers is Education Manager at the Australian Academy of Science and Managing Director of their Primary Connections Project. She holds a degree in Science and Master of Education (Research) focussing on teacher professional learning. She was a medical biochemist before becoming a primary school teacher. Shelley has also held roles as a syllabus writer, curriculum developer, and manager of science education programs in state and catholic education systems from Preschool to Year 12. She was then Senior Project Officer to the Director of the Queensland Studies Authority before becoming A/Deputy Director of the Strategy Branch. In 2007 Shelley was awarded the Nancy Fairfax Churchill Fellowship to study inquiry-based primary science education programs in France, the UK and the USA.