Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Student-led science inquiry

About this Illustration of Practice

A Year 8 science teacher at St Mary's College explains how she utilises student-led inquiry to help students develop key scientific concepts and skills. She works closely with students to help them identify an area of personal interest and to develop a method for their scientific investigation. Drawing on previous learning, and with support from their teacher, the students independently undertake their investigation and prepare a presentation of their findings for a university science fair.  

Standard 3
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus area 3.3
Use teaching strategies
Career stage
Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.
  1. What strategies can you use to connect learning to students' interests?
  2. What are the benefits of, and opportunities for, students to share their work with the community?
St Mary’s College
Year level
Year 8
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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St Mary’s College in Hobart was founded in 1868 and provides a K-12 education for girls (and K-2 for boys). The college has implemented the Australian Curriculum for science from Foundation to Year 10 and offers a wide variety of science subjects at the senior years including biology, chemistry and earth sciences. The college has established a Women in Science Centre and participates in a range of events including the University of Tasmania Science Fair to increase opportunities for students to engage in science.


Content provider
AITSL Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2014 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.