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‘Richer understanding’

Memorial launches K-6 STEM teacher education program

Teaching and Learning

By Moira Baird

An innovative program launched by Memorial’s Faculty of Education will help to position the institution at the leading edge of STEM teacher education in Canada.

“The program responds to increasing local, national and international focus on the sciences, digital technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in schools,” said Dr. Kirk Anderson, dean, Faculty of Education.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the Faculty of Education — elements of this program are unique and it’s the first of its kind in the country.”

Primary-elementary teachers

Aimed at university students who are completing a degree, this two-year, post-degree program will qualify graduates to teach school children at the kindergarten to Grade 6 levels.

Dr. Mary Stordy, associate professor, Faculty of Education, led the research team that designed the STEM program.

She says primary-elementary teachers are typically generalists who teach a range of subjects to children; some may have limited math and science backgrounds.

“We are looking for highly curious and creative people who want to enter the teaching profession . . . and who are interested in becoming part of something new and exciting.” — Dr. Mary Stordy

While they will continue to be generalists, Dr. Stordy says the new program is designed to increase their understanding of STEM subjects and their confidence in teaching them.

“Another impetus for the program is to ensure that children in our schools are given the best chance to have their hearts and minds opened to the wonder and curiosity that STEM can offer by fostering new teachers with a richer understanding of the area,” she said.

“We are looking for highly curious and creative people who want to enter the teaching profession focused on the kindergarten to Grade 6 ages, and who are interested in becoming part of something new and exciting. Curious, creative and critical thinkers foster curious, creative and critically minded learners.”

Applications now being accepted

The program is rich in experiential learning and offers a unique opportunity to engage in teaching and learning experiences beyond the campus classroom. It also includes a community field placement and engagement in service learning.

Classes begin in September. Applications are now being accepted to the new bachelor of education (primary/elementary) as a second degree conjoint with a certificate in STEM education.

To learn more about the program, visit online.


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