SSAC Science Education report launched

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19 January 2012

Since the announcement of Curriculum of Excellence there has been much discussion about what extra provision can be provided to help school teachers in STEM subjects face the challenges of introducing the new system.

In 2010 the Chief Science Adviser asked a number of members of the Scottish Science Advisory Council to become members of a sub-committee to investigate how Academia and Industry might be able to be involved in this area.

Members are Prof Jim Hough (Chair), University of Glasgow, Prof Nigel Brown, University of Edinburgh, Prof Alan Bundy, University of Edinburgh and Prof Marian Scott, University of Glasgow, Professor Robert Winston, Imperial College London and latterly Ms Angela Mathis, CEO of ThinkTank Maths in Edinburgh was invited to join.

The driving concept was that this sub-committee of the SSAC would investigate a range of possibilities and feed their ideas into SEEAG  -  the Science and Engineering Education Advisory Group – which had been set up by Scottish Government in the area of improving Science Education and is due to report early in 2012.

Our sub-group had 14 main meetings with interested parties ranging from school teachers through the Scottish Qualifications Agency to the Scottish CBI, and consulted with other interested parties, including the Scottish Government itself. We have come up with a number of recommendations as the how CPD and help given to school teachers in the classroom may be enhanced through the auspices of Academia and Industry. These are outlined in the attached report which has been submitted to SEEAG.

Perhaps the most important outcome of our SSAC work is that funds have been raised to employ up to two coordinators for two years to help to rationalise the CPD provision for Science Teachers and to help provide exemplar materials for use in the classroom. Implementation of this recommendation is currently underway.

Quote – from Professor Jim Hough chair of the working group:

"As an active research physicist with a strong interest in supporting the development of Scotland, I am very enthusiastic about helping all children have access to the best education possible in science, mathematics and engineering . Curriculum for Excellence is a major step forward in this direction and I am particularly keen to encourage the University sector and local industry to help schoolteachers in their rewarding work."

NOTES FOR NEWS EDITORS

Media enquiries: Joanne Ward -  0131 244 3716

Internet: www.scottishscience.org.uk