Amplification of the Mary Anning project
TWCF Number
Project Duration
September 15 / 2023
- November 14 / 2024
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
Amount Awarded

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Marianne Elisabeth Cutler
Institution The Association for Science Education

The UK-based Association for Science Education (ASE) has used the incredible real-life story of early 19th century fossil collector and paleontologist, Mary Anning, to produce a series of high-quality teaching resources and professional learning strategies. These resources, designed to help primary educators of children aged 9-11 embed key moments in history and science into their curriculum, are now available to all educators free of cost.

Piloted over several years, the Mary Anning project gives an insight into Mary’s life, exploring the science of fossils and evolution while reflecting on the influence of historical, cultural and religious thinking in changing ideas. ASE's program was qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated and deemed successful in supporting teachers to help broaden pupils' learning and performance across science, history, English and the wider curriculum.

The current project, directed by Marianne Cutler, seeks to expand the Mary Anning curriculum and its assets in the UK and Spain. The 3-5 year goal is to improve children’s curiosity and engagement by increasing teacher training and professional development resources to promote greater interdisciplinary, multi-modal and dialogic approaches in primary education. These approaches have been proven to yield a positive impact on students' engagement with, and learning through, substantive and disciplinary knowledge to inspire future discovery.

To disseminate the curriculum effectively in the UK, ASE plans to collaborate with UK-based public relations firm PLMR on an engagement campaign to influence the content of Initial Teacher Training programs to include the Mary Anning project and its pedagogical approach. The team also aims to influence what is expected from UK schools seeking a Primary Science Quality Mark by encouraging the integration of the Mary Anning resources into their evidence portfolio.

Additionally, ASE aims to collaborate with the Museo de Ciencias Universidad de Navarra to deliver workshops to primary teachers in Spain, allowing Spanish-speaking populations to use the curriculum materials in the future.

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