Recognising and addressing inertia affecting teacher education: a case study considering computer science in the Republic of Ireland

Lorraine Fisher, Elizabeth Oldham, Richard Millwood, Ann FitzGibbon, Pamela Cowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although teacher education and the teaching profession in Ireland have undergone considerable structural change, some inertia in the structures persists, affecting teacher education and posing barriers to the introduction of desired school curricula, such as Computer Science. Thus the question is posed: where is there significant structural inertia in the system and how does it affect the introduction of Computer Science to the school curriculum? The lack of teachers qualified to teach Computer Science to an appropriate level and suitably qualified to meet the state Teaching Council requirements is a second issue of inertia. Few Computer Science graduates undertake teacher education courses and the state’s requirements for their recognition to teach possibly fast-changing school curricula are unclear. Two initiatives undertaken at the authors’ universities, quantify and address this issue. Each surveyed purposive samples of potential Computer Science teachers to determine their relevant qualifications and willingness to teach Computer Science. The findings underline the difficulty of matching teachers’qualifications to the state’s likely requirements for recognition, stressing the need for flexible structures for teacher recognition and to remove the hindrances to teacher educations’ ability to respond effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-102
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the World Federation of Associations of Teacher Education
Volume1
Issue number3a
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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