Paper Title
E-Learning Modules Enhancing Primary Mathematics and Science Teaching

In Australia there is a call for an increasing focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, yet a decreasing number of senior secondary school students are choosing science subjects. The flow-on effect is that fewer students at tertiary level, per capita, are choosing to study the sciences or engineering. The project described in this paper considered that it would be important to focus on primary (elementary) teachers’ scientific knowledge and pedagogy as the development of foundational skills and positive attitudes to science can be strongly influenced in those first years of schooling. Six universities took part in the Opening Real Science project, funded by the Office of Learning and Teaching of Australia, which encompassed a partnership between leading teacher educators, scientists, mathematicians and ICT experts to promote relevant, real science being taught in classrooms in Australia. Partnership members in the project developed modules related to the Australian science and mathematics curricula that were completed by initial teacher education (ITE) students, scaffolding their ability to develop an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning in science. This paper reports, through a phenomenon graphic study, ITE student evaluation from one university of the modules they completed and their impact on student efficacy in relation to teaching science and mathematics. Challenges encountered were related to technology, time demand for no weighted grade, and student misunderstanding of the purpose of the modules. Once these were addressed, however, students reported enhanced efficacy and confidence in science and mathematics teaching. Important is follow-up data reporting graduates’ continued positive evaluation of the modules, now with the wisdom of hindsight, as they have become fully-fledged teachers in the classroom. Keywords - Initial Teacher Education, Mathematics Pedagogy, Opening Real Science, Primary Teaching, Science Pedagogy.