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Engaging students in authentic science through school - community links : learning from the rural experience
journal contributionposted on 2008-09-01, 00:00 authored by Russell TytlerRussell Tytler, David Symington, V Kirkwood, C Malcolm
There is an increase in school-community linked initiatives in school science. A substantial proportion of these involve rural schools. This article asks the question: In what ways do these initiatives offer possibilities for better engaging rural students with school science? The paper draws on information from a number of school-community linked science initiatives in rural areas, including exemplars from the recent Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) project, which were obtained primarily through interviews with participants. The initiatives are analysed in terms of an 'innovation framework', concerning the ideas and purposes underlying them, the knowledge and pedagogies used, and the experiences of the participants in the initiative. The paper concludes that these initiatives differ in significant respects from traditional school science, and offer the possibility of productive future directions. The authors discuss the challenges and policy directions that need to be pursued to represent these practices in mainstream curricula.