An acute shortage of teachers in key areas, including Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, threatens the Irish Government’s plan for STEM education in Ireland. Currently the innovative DCU BSc in Science Education is working hard to address this crisis. This four year programme offers students a direct route to obtain an honours degree recognised by the Teaching Council as an accredited qualification in two subjects from Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics to Leaving Certificate level.
The programme has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts from across DCU Faculty of Science and Health and DCU Institute of Education whom are actively involved in STEM education research – with modules linking content and pedagogy specifically tailored to prospective STEM teachers. Opportunities are provided for students to observe and engage in innovative teaching and professional development approaches (e.g. Lesson Study) within the programme. During second, third and fourth year students undertake significant periods of school placement to ensure they gain the experience necessary to prepare them for teaching full-time, throughout which they are supported by university tutors and workshops. These future STEM teachers also benefit from the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the many careers and opportunities available within STEM industries through participation in the STEM Teacher Internship Programme – a 12 week paid DCU industry internship during summer of third year.
Anecdotal evidence would suggest that not only are there guaranteed positions for graduates in Ireland but also a myriad of opportunities in the UK and further afield, with 100% of 2017 graduates now in full-time employment.
Those interested in pursuing a career as a science teacher can find out more at: www.dcu.ie/dc203