EDF5652 - Understanding research and leadership in science education - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Associate Professor Gillian Kidman

Not offered in 2017


This unit is designed to deepen expertise and leadership in science education. It explores different aspects of research in science education that furthers the following perspectives: (1) The ultimate purpose of science education should be to improve science teaching and learning. (2) To improve science teaching and learning, research must be grounded in the real world of students and teachers, schools systems and society. (3) To improve science teaching and learning, researchers need to be open to a range of theoretical frameworks, research methodologies and strategies. (4) Leaders in science education require an understanding of a range and breadth of research to ensure quality in their leadership. (5) Research must relate to practitioners and policy makers in order for them to make leadership decisions of practical value. To deepen understanding of these perspectives, the unit explores five organising themes in science education: science learning, culture, gender and society and science learning, science teaching, curriculum and assessment, and science teacher education. Related learning theories, research methodologies and the discipline-specific nature of science in relation to education unfolds throughout these five categories.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a general understanding of the range of science education research
  2. demonstrate an understanding of how learning theories, research methodologies and the discipline-specific nature of science impact on our conceptions of leadership in science education and/or science education research
  3. use appropriate theories, methodologies and knowledge bases of science education to explore one area of leadership in science education or science education research in depth
  4. communicate their in-depth understanding of an area of science education research to their peers
  5. develop confidence positioning themselves as leaders in science education.


Reflective report (4000 words equivalent, 50%)

Individual project (4000 words equivalent, 50%)

Workload requirements

Flexible mode offers a stand-alone online offering that allows students to learn and engage in content and assessment in a supported way. It also provides a face-to-face component of 12 hours over the semester to engage students with the online learning content, which students can attend if they are able and interested.

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for flexible students:
    • 12 contact hours and 24 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester or
    • 36 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester
  2. Additional requirements (all students):
    • independent study to meet the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Option for Master of Leadership in:

Curriculum and pedagogy