The STEM Curriculum:
Article: Time to make science work in the classroom – STEM Teacher Education
“A teacher-led project has proved fruitful in integrating science into the curriculum”
- Children are losing interest in maths and science by the age of eight
- The primary school science curriculum was introduced in 1999. In the recent OECD Programme for International Science Assessment Study (2012), Ireland performed above average. This study ranks 65 countries on the performance of 15-year-old students in the subject area of maths, reading and science.
- In 2013, the RDS, St. Patrick’s College Dromcondra (SPD) and the Centre of Advancement of Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning – DCU + SPD collaboration – worked with a group of primary school teachers to develop a professional development called “STEM Teacher Education”.
- The STEM Teacher Project is informed by international research and the needs of primary school teachers
- Teachers have ownership over the direction the project takes and that the resulting programme has the capacity to make a measurable impact at Primary School Level
- Participants in the project explore, engage with and reflect on various methodologies for teaching the primary science curriculum
- The project aims to
- Develop primary school teachers’ pedagogical knowledge of and confidence in teaching science through inquiry
- Develop a reflective professional learning community among teachers
- Teachers have started to use scientific investigations as a vehicle to develop literacy and oral language skills in their students
- An increase in child-led classwork is encouraging children to collaborate and solve problems together
- RDS Primary Science Fair takes place alongside the BT Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition and together with the STEM Project, reflects the focus of the RDS Science and Technology Programme to: “encourage the development of science and mathematical skills in primary school aged children by fostering education innovation”
- The skills inherent in these subjects are of critical importance to how Ireland’s future generation critically access the world around them.