School Seminar: Dr Alexandra Yeung, Curtin University
Friday, 8 September 11:00am – 12:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 2
Speaker: Dr Alexandra Yeung, Curtin University
Host: Dr Stephen George-Williams
Title: Creativity and Communication in the Wild West
Abstract: Communication and creativity are often considered “soft skills” that are not always explicitly taught and we assume students are proficient communicators and can harness their creativity when they enter the classroom. Creativity is known to have an impact on innovation and advancements in new technology with the goal to benefit society and allows the exploration of new ideas and inventions. Communication is highly relevant in the learning environment as students are constantly required to express their ideas. One of the Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) is “to be effective communicators of science” and is a skill that chemistry students need to achieve by graduation (Jones, Yates, & Kedler, 2011).
This presentation will highlight findings from two projects that are focussed on creativity and communication. Firstly, students’ and employers’ perceptions of creativity will be described. Self-reflective, introspective surveys, were distributed to first, second- and third-year undergraduate chemistry, mathematics and engineering students, as well as pre-service teachers and employers. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with undergraduate students. Secondly, findings from a study aimed to create activities targeting the development of group communication will be presented. The Talk Science Primer was used as a framework for the learning design of the activities where students work through four goals to develop communication skills (TERC, 2012).
Jones, S., Yates, B., & Kedler, J.-A. (2011). Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Project Science Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement, September 2011.
TERC. (2012). Talk Science Primer. Cambrige, MA: TERC.
Bio: Alexandra Yeung is currently a senior lecturer (teaching focussed) and the Chemistry Major Coordinator in the Department of Chemistry, School of Molecular and Life Sciences at Curtin University. She completed her PhD in Chemistry Education and a Master of Education (Educational Psychology) at The University of Sydney. After completing her PhD, Alexandra took on a role as Associate Director of the Advancing Science and Engineering through Laboratory Learning (ASELL) project followed by Manager of The Institute for Innovation in Mathematics and Science Education (IISME) at The University of Sydney. She was a key driver for the expansion of the ASELL project into schools, securing $1.912 million through the Australian Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program. Alexandra is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and her teaching excellence earned her the 2018 Faculty of Science and Engineering PVC Teaching Excellence Award. She was editor the International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education and organised numerous science education conferences. In 2022, she was awarded a National Science Week grant to run a live event from Curtin Chemistry Laboratories to students in remote Aboriginal communities with a team from Curtin University and Edith Cowan University.