Anne Forbes

Dr, PhD (Primary Science Education), MScAgr (Plant Pathology), BEd (Primary Education), BSc (Biological Sciences)

  • 87 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
1988 …2019
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Personal profile


Anne Forbes is a Senior Lecturer in STEM Education in the Department of Educational Studies at Macquarie University, where she teaches in a range of units in pre-service teacher education and conducts accredited in-service teacher professional learning to enthuse, inform and inspire learning and teaching through science education. Anne is particularly interested in ways to advance the learning and teaching of science education in schools through the development of communities of science practice. This work is currently manifested through an outreach program named MyScience@MQwhere Year 9/10 students, and mentors with science and engineering expertise from MQ staff and students, work with primary students to undertake an authentic scientific investigation, which is later presented to the school community at a Science Fair. Participating teachers undertake accredited professional learning that develops their skills and confidence in science education. Anne is also working with IBM to implement a Global Artificial Intelligence Curriculum Framework, and is the lead author on a STEM Education textbook for Australian pre-service primary teachers. She has been invited to share her research internationally as a keynote speaker, and to share her ideas about STEM education with parents, teachers and principals as an invited speaker.


MyScience@MQ: In 2006 Anne co-developed the underpinning Educational Model for MyScience, an award-winning program that aims to stimulate interest and enhance the capacity of primary science teachers and their students in conducting authentic scientific investigations- and has been implementing the program since that time. Preliminary research into the program indicates benefits across the educational spectrum: for primary students and their teachers, secondary students and their science teachers and pre-service primary and secondary science teachers, where learning occurs because of participation in a community of science practice.

STEM Education textbook: Anne is collaborating with five Australian academics to create a 'state-of-the-art' text to support understanding of STEM education for Australian pre-service primary teachers. The book is due to be published in 2020.

IBM Global Artifical Intelligence Currciulum Framework

In 2018, Macquarie University’s Department of Educational Studies (DES) was the lead organisation for developing IBM’s Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Curriculum Framework. Following consultation with key Australian education stakeholders including the Chief Scientist, ACARA and the Department of Education, DES collaborated with international stakeholders in the UK, US and India to produce the comprehensive Artificial Intelligence Curriculum Framework for students and teachers in primary and secondary schools. Designed to develop future-oriented knowledge, skills and values, the framework enables participation and contribution as engaged and responsible citizens in the 21st century economy and society.

In 2019 IBM will implement the Global AI Curriculum Framework with Anne as the 'Academic Lead' for developing a suite of continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers. These courses will be aligned to AITSL ‘Proficient Level’ Australian Professional Standards at AQF Level 8, as well as IBM badges, and country education requirements.


Anne teaches in the Early Childhood and Primary education programs, and contributes to units relating to Science and Design Technology education. She currently convenes ECH430, and participates in ECH232, ECH234, EDTE252 and EDTE455

Anne uses a learner-centred approach in her teaching to design and deliver resources and ideas, which means identifying key elements of ‘what needs to be known or understood’ and presenting them in ways that allow learners to ‘join the dots’.  She believes in, and practices the art of teaching, as being about creating inviting spaces into which learners will step and engage with presented ideas.   


2003      BHP Billiton: National BHP Billiton Award for Primary Science Teaching

2000      Streamwatch, NSW: Outstanding Streamwatch Educator award for K-12 teaching


Anne is currently a reviewer for the International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education journal.

She contributes to Educational Research in NSW through her position as Vice President on the NSW Institute for Educational Research committee.

Anne regularly presents professional development workshops about science and design technology education.

Anne was awarded the following in recognition of her contributions to a variety of Professional Teaching Associations:

2015      Professional Teachers’ Council of NSW: Exceptional Service Award 

2010      Science Teachers' Association of NSW: Distinguished Service Award

2006      Professional Teachers’ Council of NSW: Outstanding Professional Service Award 

Education/Academic qualification

Primary Science Education, PhD, Southern Cross University

Primary Education, BEd, University of Technology Sydney

Plant Pathology, MScAgr, University of Sydney

Biological Sciences, BSc, University of Birmingham

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Anne Forbes is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2018 2019

Research Outputs 1988 2019

  • 87 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
  • 10 Article
  • 2 Commissioned report
  • 2 Chapter
  • 1 Conference proceeding contribution

By design: professional learning ecologies to develop primary school teachers’ makerspaces pedagogical capabilities

Stevenson, M., Bower, M., Falloon, G., Forbes, G. & Hatzigianni, M., May 2019, In : British Journal of Educational Technology. 50, 3, p. 1260-1274 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

primary school teacher

Element interactivity as a construct for the analysis of science problem-solving processes

Kadir, M. S., Yeung, A. S. & Forbes, A., 2019, Progress in education. Nata, R. V. (ed.). New York, NY: Nova Science, p. 185-203 19 p. (Progress in education; vol. 55).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

interactive media

Literature review: formative assessment evidence and practice

Lane, R., Parrila, R., Bower, M., Bull, R., Cavanagh, M., Forbes, G., Jones, T., Pellicano, E., Powell, S. & Ryan, M., 27 Sep 2019, (Submitted) Melbourne: Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). 230 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearchpeer-review


“You actually feel like you’re actually doing some science”: primary students’ perspectives of their involvement in the MyScience initiative.

Forbes, G. & Skamp, K., Apr 2019, In : Research in Science Education. 49, 2, p. 465–498 34 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

primary group

Effects of a dual-approach instruction on students’ science achievement and motivation

Kadir, M. S., Yeung, A. S., Ryan, R. M., Forbes, A. & Diallo, T. M. O., 19 Sep 2018, In : Educational Psychology Review.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Control Groups
Mental Competency

Activities 2018 2018

  • 1 Invited talk

Press / Media

STEM experts in every school? Maybe

Georgina Forbes


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Mentors help kids and teachers love science

Georgina Forbes


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities