It's (nearly) unanimous: We need to do a better job teaching math and science to our children. It's one of only a very few issues that almost everyone can agree on. Sure, people may differ on the value of teaching art and music, or on whether math and science should be placed in a cultural context or taught using innovative, experiential approaches. But except for a lunatic fringe, everyone thinks our children--and the adults they will soon become--need to know more about science. [ More...]
During July we'll be examining the movement of scientists into teaching in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere in Europe via a series of essays on the advantages, disadvantages, and logistics of making the switch. We'll also be publishing "from the trenches" essays written by people who have been there, done that, and--in most cases--are still doing it!
So, if you've ever thought about going into teaching, even for a moment, read on. And remember: New content will be added to the feature throughout the month. If you want to be notified when new content appears, subscribe to our e-mail alert service. And finally--as usual, Next Wave has put together a Resources page with links to other sites. We hope that the rich information they contain will help you take the next steps after you've read our articles.
EU: In Europe, science teaching has never been in greater need of dynamism and creativity, says Andrew Moore of the European Molecular Biology Organization.
By Astrid Dahnken and Erika Margewitsch. An interdisciplinary doctoral programme at the Carl-von-Ossietzky-University of Oldenburg tries to figure out what works and what doesn't.
By Lee Copson. Like surfer and wave, teacher and learner must progress together.
Next Wave German Editor Eick von Ruschkowski surveys the demand for teachers in Germany, state by state, as well as opportunities for "lateral entry."
Europe/France: Science in the Nursery
William Levelt, President of the Royal Netherlands Academy, thinks the answer to the Dutch crisis in secondary science education may lie in teachers enthusiastic--and well-informed--about research.
Sunitha Zecharia finds value and satisfaction in providing her students with personal guidance.
Catherine Wilson, education manager at the Institute of Physics gives an overview of the routes into and rewards of teaching which applies equally to scientists of any discipline.
Science teachers are in short supply in the United States, notes feature editor Jim Austin, but scientists who wish to teach will have to jump through some hoops.
In Canada, Lesley McKarney tell us, teaching is one of only a few fields where recent graduates can expect multiple job offers.
Despite the hype, cushy teaching jobs are rare, even in science, says writer Rick Ackermann. The best place to look is close to home.
Howard Granok admits that the transition from postdoc to school teacher wasn't always easy. But, he says, "I knew after the first month that this was the job for me."
Most of Singapore's excellent science teachers are educators, not scientists. And, says Jennie Wong, if you want to get into teaching, you can.
Teach for America alumnus Greg Huang shatters some myths and emphasizes the importance of mentors and role models in nurturing minority students.
The Dutch schools are screaming out for teachers, writes Netherlands Editor Robert Metzke. Scientists might help to fill the gap.
When it was time to return to her native Ireland Angela Kelly decided to try teaching adolescents. It proved a satisfying move despite some stresses and strains.
Essayist Hubert Skudlik was looking for a change, but he didn't want to give up the vigorous, outdoor lifestyle he had come to enjoy. He decided to go into teaching.
Next Wave Staff have gathered a bunch of links to stuff to read and tools to help you make the switch to teaching.