Science and maths boost to teaching ranks
More science and mathematics students are turning to teaching.
Figures from the University of Adelaide's School of Education show that the number of teaching students doing maths or science has more than doubled over the past two years.
These students are studying for either the Bachelor of Teaching or the Graduate Diploma in Education with a maths or science focus.
This follows a push by the University to encourage more students from science and maths backgrounds to consider teaching as a profession.
"Science and maths teachers are desperately needed in our high schools," said the Head of the University's School of Education, Professor Tania Aspland.
"It's for this reason that we have been seeking out maths and science students, to make them aware of the career opportunities for them.
"We're pleased to see that the message is getting across," she said.
The number of teaching and education students doing science subjects has risen from 76 in 2008 to 153 in 2010. Of those doing science subjects, the number of teaching and education students doing chemistry and physics (to Year 12 level) in recent years has risen from 18 in 2008 to 39 in 2010.
The number of teaching and education students doing all maths subjects has also risen, from 34 in 2008 to 64 in 2010. Of those doing maths, the number of teaching and education students doing senior maths (to Year 12 level) has increased from 14 in 2008 to 21 in 2010.
"These figures are a good start, but more students are needed to fill serious skills shortages, putting their maths and science degrees and their passion for these subjects to good use in schools," Professor Aspland said.
Professor Aspland said the University of Adelaide's School of Education was the only one in the state that made a distinction between junior maths and science subjects (up to and including Year 10) and senior maths and science subjects (up to and including Year 12).
"This gives us a stronger focus on teaching in these areas, and we believe that any students who wish to teach these subjects at secondary school level will be best served by our academic programs," she said.
Graduate Diploma of Education students Gabrielle Kelly, 23, and Claire Ashman, 23, are among the many students at the University to utilise their science and mathematics backgrounds.
Gabrielle graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Science majoring in physics and also has a Diploma in Languages (French).
Claire graduated from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Science, with majors in physics and mathematics.
"I chose to study Education at the University of Adelaide because I wanted to be a maths and science teacher," Claire said. "When I asked around about which university was the best to do teaching, the answer was the University of Adelaide."
Story by David Ellis
For more information about academic programs in Science, Mathematics, Teaching and Education, visit Open Day Sunday 15 Augustwww.adelaide.edu.au/openday