Charles Sturt University researchers are seeking teachers, parents and guardians of primary school-aged children to participate in a study into the impact of the COVID-19-enforced home-schooling on students’ ability to learn science and mathematics.
Dr Jacquie Tinkler and Mr Steve Murphy (pictured), Wagga Wagga-based lecturers in Charles Sturt’s School of Education, will lead the research project, which is aimed at learning how at-home teaching of mathematics and science was facilitated during lockdown and identifying new and effective teaching practices for these subjects.
According to Mr Murphy, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects are best taught using hands-on, collaborative activities. This is difficult to do during at-home learning.
When schools were closed in accordance with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, teachers, parents and guardians were required to adopt alternative teaching techniques. The research team hopes to gain an understanding of what those techniques were and to evaluate their effectiveness.
Researchers are calling on primary school teachers, and parents and guardians of primary school-aged children, to share their experiences.
Mr Murphy said all feedback about at-home teaching of science and mathematics – both positive and negative – would provide valuable insights.
“You don’t have to have had all positive experiences in teaching or assisting children with maths and science learning. The challenging experiences are also very informative,” he said.
“Both teachers and parents were thrown in the deep end with the sudden move to online schooling, and had to work out ways of helping their students and/or children with their school work.
“This research has the potential to identify ways of effectively teaching maths and science in an online space, as well as ways for parents to better assist their children in their at-home learning in the future.”