Christine Howitt

Associate Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M428), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Biography

Christine Howitt is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia, where she is the Deputy Head of School (Research), with responsibility for overseeing research and research training. As a scientist turned educator, Christine specialises in teaching early childhood and primary science education. This also reflects her main areas of research: young children’s science learning, early childhood STEM education, science identity, learning in informal contexts, participatory research, and rights of the child. Christine is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and her teaching has been recognised through University, State and National teaching awards. Her books include The Narrative Approach to informed consent: Empowering young children’s rights and meaningful participation, co-authored with Fiona Mayne and published by Routledge in 2022; Science in early childhood (4th edition), co-edited with Coral Campbell and Wendy Jobling and published by Cambridge University Press in 2021; Eyes wide open. Integrated, holistic and flexible science ideas and activities for 3 to 6 year olds, co-authored with Natalie Birrell and Katie Weppner and published by Teaching Solutions in 2021; Planting the seeds of science. A flexible, integrated and engaging resource for teachers of 3 to 8 year olds, co-edited with Elaine Blake and published by the Australian Learning & Teaching Council in 2010; and a 2010 self-published children storybook called Science is everywhere.

Roles and responsibilities

Christine is the Deputy Head of School (Research) (2020 onwards).

Previoulsy she was the Doctor of Education coordinator (2012-2018) and the Doctor of Philosophy coordinator (2018-2019). 

Funding overview

 

ARC Linkage Grant LP110200756. Christine Howitt and Léonie Rennie. Chief Investigator. Small steps in
science. Developing young children’s science understanding through playgroup incursions. (July 2011-June
2015). $120,000 ARC, $30,000 Scitech, $30,000 Rio Tinto. 

UWA Teaching Fellowship. Christine Howitt and Mark Pegrum. Chief Investigator. Student experiences of
iPads as a tool for tertiary learning. (August 2011 – February 2012). $22,000.

Australian Learning and Teaching Council Competitive Grants Scheme. Chief Investigator. Science for early
childhood teacher education students: Collaboration between teacher educators, scientists and engineers.
(July 2008-June 2011). $220,312. Project ID CG8-724.

Curtin Linkage Grant. Barry Fraser and Christine Howitt. Chief Investigator. Catching them young: Evaluating innovative educational programs for stimulating scientific interest and exploration among children under five years old. (2009). $5,000 Scitech and $5,000 Curtin.

CSIRO Education. Léonie Rennie and Christine Howitt. Chief Investigator. Evaluation of Scientists in Schools
Project. (2008-2009). $30,000.

CSIRO Education. Léonie Rennie and Christine Howitt. Chief Investigator. Evaluation of Scientists in Schools
Pilot Project. (2007-2008). $20,000.

 

Previous positions

2018-present: Associate Professor, Education, The University of Western Australia

2011-2017: Senior Lecturer, Education, The University of Western Australia

2007-2010: Senior Lecturer (2010) and Lecturer (2007-2009), Science Education, Science and Mathematics Education Centre, Curtin University

2003-2006: Sessional Lecturer, Education, Curtin University

2000-2003: Lecturer, Curtin College of Higher Education, Kalgoorlie

1996-2001: Lecturer, Environmental Technology, Vocational Training & Education Centre, Curtin, Kalgoorlie

1983-1991: Statistician, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane

Research interests

Christine’s research focuses on young children's science learning, science identity, learning in informal contexts, participatory research, rights of the child and early childhood STEM education. 

Industry keywords

  • Education

Research expertise keywords

  • Primary science teacher education
  • Early childhood science teacher education
  • Young children's science learning
  • Learning in informal contexts
  • Participatory research
  • Rights of the child
  • Early childhood STEM education
  • Science identity

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