Monday, July 09, 2012

Engineers can be math teachers

If Irish engineering graduates don't have sufficient mathematical training to qualify as math teachers at second level there is either something wrong with the education our engineering students are getting or something wrong with the Teaching Council's process of evaluating potential math teachers.

That's the only conclusion I can come to after reading this letter from a member of the Teaching Council. Writing in response to an engineer who said that the Teaching Council did not accept engineering degrees for math teachers Tomás Ó Ruairc noted that the Council has "identified a number of  pathways by which engineering graduates can address the shortfalls in their qualifications as they relate to the teaching of maths."

Huh? I can't imagine engineering graduates would have any "shortfalls" that would need to be addressed when it comes to teaching mathematics. All over the country we have people with business and biology degrees teaching math and many of them are challenged by the material at the Leaving Cert level. Engineers would be far more mathematically capable.

This should be easy for the minister to fix. Get those engineering degrees certified as acceptable for math teachers. Then do the hard job and start getting all those biology and business studies teachers out of the Leaving Cert math business.

{This is not about whether engineers can teach. They would still have to be qualified teachers.}