Anne Forbes

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

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1988 …2021

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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 has manifested as 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 Corporation to implement a Global Curriculum Framework for Artificial Intelligence, and is the lead author on a textbook for Australian pre-service primary teachers titled STEM Education in the Primary School: A teacher's tookit. 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 four Australian academics who have been commissioned by Cambridge University Press to create a 'state-of-the-art' text for Australian pre-service primary teachers titled STEM Education in the Primary School: A teacher's tookit. The book is due to be published in January 2021.

IBM Global Artifical Intelligence Currciulum Framework

In 2018, Macquarie University’s then Department of Educational Studies (DES) collaborated with key international stakeholders to develop IBM Corporation's Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) 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, with Anne as the 'Academic Lead', a suite of online and face-to-face professional learning courses  for Australian teachers were developed, implemented and evaluated.  

In 2020, based on the resources developed in 2019, the online Coursera course Artificial Intelligence (AI) Education for Teachers was launched.

In 2021, the IBM EdTech Youth Challenge will provide support to teachers who wish to guide student teams to propose AI solutions to local issues caused by Climate Change.  


Anne teaches in the Early Childhood and Primary education programs, and contributes to units relating to Science and Design Technology education. She currently convenes and /or participates in: ECH4300, EDTE2520, EDTE4550, EDST2110, EDST8203.

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 an Associate Editor for a Speical Issue on STEM Education in the journal Early Education and Development, due for publication in 2021.

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

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

Award Date: 12 Sep 2014

Primary Education, BEd, University of Technology Sydney

Award Date: 16 Apr 1998

Plant Pathology, MScAgr, University of Sydney

Award Date: 8 Oct 1985

Biological Sciences, BSc, University of Birmingham

Award Date: 7 Jul 1978


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