GOING FULL STEAM AHEAD: High Possibility Classrooms in Australian schools

Engaging with research and practice to understand how inquiry processes enable the effective integration of the STEM disciplines where the Arts/Humanities play a central role in student learning  

Dr Jane Hunter
Leading Australian researcher in school education, innovative pedagogue and designer of the High Possibility Classrooms framework for technology enhanced learning in K-12 settings.
University of Technology Sydney (Australia)


In this workshop you will be:

  • Introduced to the Australian framework for enhancing digital literacy known as High Possibility Classrooms (HPC) that was developed from research in the classrooms of exemplary teachers
  • Exposed to findings from a series of current and ongoing research studies involving principals, classroom teachers and teams of coaches in Australian primary and secondary schools who are using HPC to enhance student learning in the disciplines of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Humanities and Mathematics).
  • Engaged in practical hands on activities to grow and challenge your own pedagogical assumptions and repertoires in STEAM.

What can deep studies of classroom practice in various school settings tell us about effective STEAM learning for primary and secondary students, and young people with special needs? Is innovative STEAM learning really just about quality teaching and great teachers? What is the role of industry in STEAM? Do trans-disciplinary experts who work in the wider community have a place in effective STEAM learning in schools? Is STEAM education the panacea for creating more democratic schools?

Who Should Attend?

  • Principals/ Executive teams
  • Deputy/ Assistant principals
  • Primary/ Secondary/ Special needs/ teachers
  • Curriculum integration specialists
  • Education/system leaders in STEM/STEAM and future focused learning practitioners


Why Attend?

  • To grow your understanding of pedagogical processes that support effective STEAM learning for young people in K-12 settings
  • To boost personal confidence and capacity with understandings that robust education research underpins your leadership of progressive classroom practices in STEAM
  • To add to your professional learning accreditation plan with a masterclass that is already endorsed by the state registration board, for example, in NSW by NESA at the Lead Level
  • To seek further ideas of the ways to engage with evidence informed practices that act as ‘pressure and support’ for quality learning and teaching in the STEAM disciplines.


What To Bring?

Please BYO laptop device, tablet or iPad. Wireless Internet is provided.



8:30 |  Arrival

9:00 |  Commencement

9:00 – 10:30 |  Session 1:
Examination of the original High Possibility Classrooms (HPC) study conducted in Australian primary and secondary school settings. Who were the teachers? What did they focus on? Why is it important education research? What its impact?

Learning outcomes: Participants will gain understanding of exemplary teachers’ knowledge of technology enhanced learning, grow more familiar with the five HPC conceptions and 22 themes of pedagogical strategies and student learning processes. Shed light on how you might begin to work and lead learning with the framework in your classroom/school/education system.

10:30 – 11:00 |  Tea & Coffee Break (20 mins)

11:00 – 12:45 |  Session 2:  
This session will examine recent STEM/STEAM research studies in Australian primary and secondary schools with a focus on how HPC builds teacher capacity and confidence. Did teacher capacity and confidence grow? What innovative practices did teachers use to integrate multiple disciplines? What did students like about learning in STEM/STEAM? How are students in primary schools who have special needs participating in STEM/STEAM? Is there a place for coaching and professional conversations to support using the HPC framework at scale for STEM/STEAM?

Learning outcomes: Opportunities to engage with findings of ongoing HPC research will be shared and discussed with participants working in small STEAM teams to shape useful ideas/resources/practices for their own education contexts.

12:45 – 13:45 |  Lunch Break (50 mins)

13:20 – 14:40 |  Session 3:
In small teams, participants will involve themselves in examples of hands on learning/PBL/inquiry sequences/design/app pitching that are suitable for leading STEM/STEAM professional learning with colleagues including planning task/program/classroom level learning for students in K-12 settings. For example: What does a successful program of inquiry based learning for STEM/STEAM look like in the classroom?

Learning outcomes: After lunch, delegates will plan and participate in a range of learning ideas and STEM/STEAM activities that are immediately applicable to K-12 classrooms.

14:55 – 15:00 |  Networking Break

15:00 – 16:00 |  Session 4:  
Each masterclass team will design, program and share with the whole group an integrated learning experience that addresses the HPC conceptions and themes in the disciplines of STEM/STEAM aligned to an education context they are familiar with.

Learning outcome: This masterclass is accredited at the lead level by NESA and participants will leave with a research informed understanding of HPC, knowledge of effective approaches to STEM/STEAM learning in K-12 settings and renewed enthusiasm for learning and inquiry that fosters creativity, imagination and curiosity in young people.

16:00 |  Conclusion





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