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Vision and strategy


The Science and Mathematics Education Centre (SMEC) was founded by John de Laeter in the late 1970s with David Boud as its first Director. The establishment of the Centre was a response to the need for science teachers to keep up to date in both their disciplinary and pedagogical knowledge.

As the West Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) developed into Curtin University, SMEC also developed in national and international influence and increased its higher degree offerings. From 1988-1997, SMEC was funded by the ARC as a National Centre for Teaching and Research in School Science and Mathematics. The Centre has over 1500 graduates who are employed in over 20 different countries.

The Centre has recently changed its name to the STEM Education Research Group, reflecting its position now within the School of Education, and its expanded focus on supporting both the integrity of the independent STEM disciplines, and also their integration.


To be an international leader in science, technology and mathematics education research.


To provide leadership, innovation and excellence in science, technology and mathematics education research and learning, and digital technologies applied to these areas.


Goal 1: Conduct research that informs and influences the education sector.
Goal 2: Provide research informed teaching and supervision.
Goal 3: Provide national and international leadership in the STEM education professions.

Objective and strategies

People and Culture
Be linked with national and international partners.
  • Align with faculty and university initiatives to develop national and international partners.

  • Establish nodes in response to cohorts of students.
  • Integrate aspects of the Centre, the School of Education, and other Schools.
  • Develop a structure which integrates with the School.

  • Recognize links with other schools.

  • Promote the colloquium as a school activity.
  • Exhibit strong research capacity in key areas.
  • Develop a succession plan.

  • Build capacity in the school for HDR supervision through mentoring.
  • Provide an engaging experience for students.
  • Foster a sense of community for all HDR students.

  • Encourage colloquium attendance and participation.

  • Organize regular social activities.

  • Involve distance students in Centre activities.

  • Establish social media networks.
  • Research and Innovation
    Support excellent research.
  • Maintain a database of STEM education research related activity in the school.

  • Consolidate research project support to develop economies of scale.
  • Achieve externally funded research projects.• Support the development of research proposals through a peer network.
  • Establish a review structure for proposal development.

  • Broadcast funding opportunities.
  • Be recognized for influential research.
  • Conduct and supervise culturally sensitive research.

  • Conduct research which is characterized by engagement with the community.

  • Disseminate research through professional journals, conferences and media.

  • Produce an annual summary of research related activities and outcomes.
  • Have a high number of research outputs.
  • Develop expectations re joint publications between supervisors and students.

  • Mentor staff publication preparation.
  • Be a hub for visiting academics.
  • Invite visiting scholars and support visiting researchers.

  • Develop a visiting scholar program.
  • Learning and Teaching
    Provide STEM education support to the School and university.
  • Contribute to the Professional Learning Hub in STEM areas.

  • Contribute in STEM and research areas to the School’s suite of higher degrees.

  • Support university initiatives.
  • Supervise an appropriate number of international and domestic HDR students according to workload guidelines.
  • Engage with the Faculty and University in strategic HDR student recruitment.

  • Facilitate timely HDR completions.

  • Maintain a sustainable number of HDR students.
  • Engagement and Impact
    Have strong networks with a range of partners.
  • Be active in professional organizations.

  • Develop links with industry related to STEM education issues.

  • Foster industry partners.
  • Have an engaged reputation.
  • Encourage membership of editorial boards of academic journals.

  • Participate as presenters and organizers in national and international conferences.

  • Organize with an international partner a biannual STEM conference.

  • • Represent the Group on national and international bodies.
    Have a significant profile
  • Develop branding for the Group.

  • Maintain an up to date website.

  • Work with central marketing to develop a marketing plan

  • Develop and regularly communicate with alumni through a database.