Monday, April 23, 2018

School Teaching in an Option for Science Graduates

Greetings from the Australian National university in Canberra, where Teach for Australia and the ANU Biology Society are presenting: Non-Traditional Careers in Science. This event is perhaps misnamed, as science graduates going into school teaching is a traditional career option.

As I understand it, Teach for Australia provides graduates with support and accelerated training so their can enter a classroom quickly.  But their website is so full of aspirational marketing material that it difficult to tell how the program actually works.

There is a strong demand for STEM graduates in government and industry. In the case of computing students the problem is to keep the best students at university long enough to graduate, before they are recruited by companies (or set up their own). If education departments want to attract graduates, I suggest they are going to have to offer better pay and conditions.

The way education is delivered also needs to be brought into the digital age. Students who have used, and in some cases developed, sophisticated on-line tools and techniques are not going to want to revert to chalk and talk in a school classroom. Teaching, particularly for  older students, needs to move beyond a classroom based experience. Students need to be learning out in the world, supported by teams of teachers with access to technology. The teachers need to be supported on-line as well.

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