Evaluation of RAiSE; Raising Aspirations in Science Education

The Wood Foundation, Scottish Government and Local Authority Education Services co-funded a pilot programme, RAISE, across ten Local Authority areas to “help support improvements in primary science education across Scotland to ensure that every child has a positive engagement with, and experience of, science throughout their primary school years.

A team from the Robert Owen Centre was commissioned to evaluate the Programme. The research project assessed:

1. Evidence of Impact/Step Change, which explored the extent to which the Programme is making an impact on participating pupils and primary practitioners and their schools’ capacity to promote STEM

2.The Programme’s position in the landscape – this explored the extent to which the Programme enhances opportunities to align with other national education priorities such as NIF, SAC and DYW. It also addressed whether the Programme contributed to the confidence and scientific capital of practitioners and schools to better recognise the potential for creative science education to assist meeting numerous educational objectives e.g. literacy, numeracy, gender balance

3. Effective Approach & Delivery – this provided formative feedback to inform the RAISE Programme to promote sustainability and expansion in various material contexts across the Local Authorities.

To meet the aims and objectives detailed above and the various approaches developed across the participating LAs, a mixed method, case study approach was adopted. This drew on a range of quantitative and qualitative methods and use primary and secondary data combined in ways appropriate in each of the local authorities to best address the evaluation research questions.

A total of 10 context-sensitive evaluations that take into account the different types of activity and support in each of the participating local authorities were produced. Where feasible, baseline and follow-up data and information was gathered, along with comparison data from non-programme schools, to allow assessment of impact. In addition to the in-depth findings about how RAISE made a difference in each LA, the context-sensitive evaluations allowed the identification of broader, cross-cutting themes and findings. This allowed an assessment of how the various approaches contribute to promoting effective primary science education and address the evaluation research questions, particularly, how does involvement in RAISE impact on ability, skills, pedagogy of practitioners?

PI and Co-Is

PI - Kevin Lowden - University of Glasgow, School of Education

Co-I - Stuart Hall - University of Glasgow, School of Education

Deja Collier

Start and End Date

01/02/2017 - 30/11/2018

Funder and Funding Amount

The Wood Foundation: £50,562