Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence


Memorandum by Emma Drewery

EFFECTIVENESS OF TEACHER TRAINING

  Due to incentives we now seem to be getting ex-industry workers who find it difficult to relate to "today's student". Science ITT students in particular have a discipline (Chem, Phys, Bio) and are often very poor at teaching outside their discipline.

THE ADEQUACY OF PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT

  The professional support for science teachers is limited and the majority of courses run are expensive and not within our geographical region, which makes travelling expenses high. This means that our school is reluctant to send us out for training.

THE EFFECT OF CHANGES IN THE CURRICULUM ON ATTRACTING/RETAINING SCIENCE TEACHERS

  The changes in the curriculum are good for the students, but has meant that teachers have to adapt to the new specifications very quickly, and with little or no support, resources or funding.

THE ROLE OF THE PRACTICAL IN TEACHING SCIENCE

  Practical sessions are the reason why students enjoy science, but rising class sizes have meant that practical sessions can be potentially dangerous. Why can't science have a recommended maximum class size, like Technology?

THE CONDITION OF SCHOOL LABS, THE PROVISION AND USE OF LAB TECHNICIANS AND TEACHING ASSISTANTS

  Our labs are too small, and with no "guidelines" our principal does nothing about the fact that we are trying to teach 30+ students in a lab that was designed for 16 students 20 years ago! Our technician time is insufficient, but the "Senior Management Team" just see them as glorified "washer-uppers" and do nothing. We have one teaching assistant in our department, bearing in mind that eight classes could be on at the same time.

  Overall, Science comes in a poor fifth to English, Maths, I.C.T and Technology!

June 2006



 
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