Teachers are essential to exposing school students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Inspirational, enthusiastic STEM teachers with deep knowledge of and confidence to teach their disciplines can influence students to develop an interest in STEM and the many possible career paths it makes possible. It is therefore important for STEM education to be integrated within Initial Teacher Education (ITE) as well as ongoing professional development to develop expertise and maintain currency throughout a teaching career. ATSE makes the following recommendations for Teacher Education Expert Panel Discussion Paper to consider in their reforms to ITE:
Recommendation 1: Set a target for the proportion of in-field STEM teachers, with a plan to reach this target through ITE and professional development.
Recommendation 2: Consider levers to increase the supply of STEM teachers through placement and mid-career pathway reforms.
Recommendation 3: Integrate access to STEM resources as part of ‘effective practices’ content in ITE.
Recommendation 4: Collect and publish intersectional demographic information for indicators for selection, retention, and classroom readiness.