Insights from the STEM Teacher Internship Programme
Dr Mairéad Hurley – Programme Manager, STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Programme, Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL), Dublin City University (DCU)
Professor Deirdre Butler – School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies, DCU and Programme Director, STInt Programme, CASTeL, DCU
Associate Professor, Eilish McLoughlin – School of Physical Sciences, DCU and Programme Director, STInt Programme, CASTeL, DCU
Special Thanks to
Mr. Bernard Capraro – Research Manager, Silicon Technology, Intel Research and Development Ireland Ltd.
Ms. Gillian Harford – Country Executive, 30% Club Ireland
Dr Shalini Hollingum – Product Manager, Accenture, STInt Programme Industry Liaison
Professor Anne Looney – Executive Dean, DCU Institute of Education
Mr. Paul McCabe – Chief Operating Officer, VLE Therapeutics
Ms. Claire McEvoy – STInt Programme Manager, CASTeL, DCU
Dr Jennifer McKenna, Intel R&D Ireland, STInt Programme Industry Liaison
Ms. Paula Neary – Managing Director, Communications, Media and Technology, Accenture
Hurley, M., Butler., D., McLoughlin E., (2021). Immersive STEM Learning Experiences to Shape Shared Futures. Dublin: Dublin City University.
This White Paper presents an ambitious vision for the type of education system required to prepare learners for the future. It contains a strong focus on integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, essential for developing the necessary competences to thrive in our complex, ever-changing world. Within such a holistic and equitable education system, these learners will be equipped to realise a planet with thriving and sustainable societies, economies and environment.
We posit that teachers are the catalyst to realising this vision and ensuring that effective, sustainable systematic change happens. However, they cannot do it alone and will need the support of a range of stakeholders and actors to create this effective learning ecosystem. Considering this and also the point that the most impactful moment to influence the teachers of the future is during their initial teacher education – when they are fully immersed in the processes and practices of active, situated learning – designing an intervention that focused on working with initial teachers seemed the logical starting point. If these teachers are to design authentic learning experiences which integrate core STEM competences within real-world contexts, we believe it is essential that they have first hand experience in these contexts themselves. Only with such a rounded experience, will they be in a position to inspire truly innovative STEM learning in their classrooms. These ideas are what led to the development of the STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Programme, which encapsulates clearly how building partnerships between teacher educators, student teachers and industry can play a part in shaping the shared futures of the next generation of Irish students.
However this is only the beginning, and in the process of working on the STInt Programme since 2016 we have come to realise with greater clarity that there are major challenges we still need to address within the wider ecosystem in realising our vision of designing innovative learning environments.