Secondary mathematics and science initiative (SMSI) for out-of-field teachers
The Secondary Mathematics and Science Initiative (SMSI) aims to address the critical and ongoing shortage of maths and science teachers by helping teachers who are already teaching those subjects ‘out of field’ — without formal qualifications in teaching mathematics/science — to improve their content knowledge and learn new approaches to teaching that engage student interest and builds their skills.
Deakin University has partnered with the Victorian Department of Education and Training to deliver new graduate courses designed to increase the number of qualified maths and science teachers available to teach in state secondary schools.
The SMSI is designed for teachers who have been teaching out-of-field (without a formal teaching-method qualification) for between one and five years. The courses are structured around mathematics and science content domains with a strong classroom focus and draw on extensive consultation with teachers and principals as well as STEME research.
The design and delivery of the courses involves a Design-Based Research (DBR) methodology with cycles of planning, evaluation and refinement. Through this process researchers have learned about the context of out-of-field teaching, the experience of teachers across subject boundaries, and how best to support their learning.
The initiative includes an innovative ‘CIRCLS’ support network offering mentoring and support resources for teachers returning to study.
The Deakin STEME team has developed Graduate Certificates in Secondary Mathematics and Science that support ‘out-of-field’ teachers to gain knowledge and experience of mathematics/science ideas and best practice teaching approaches. Participants gain a graduate certificate in either mathematics or science through Deakin University.
- Professor Russell Tytler (Project Director)
- Associate Professor Jill Brown (Mathematics Course Director)
- Associate Professor Peta White (Science Course Director)
- Associate Professor Linda Hobbs
- Dr Carly Sawatzki
- Associate Professor Wanty Widjaja
- Dr Seamus Delaney
- Dr John Cripps Clark
- Professor Damian Blake
- Associate Professor Julianne Lynch (CIRCLS)
- Dr Jo Raphael (CIRCLS)
28 August 2021 – 28 February 2025
Victorian Department of Education and Training, $4.63 million
- Graduate Certificate of Secondary Science | Deakin
- Graduate Certificate of Secondary Mathematics | Deakin