A 2007 University System of Georgia report, “Math+Science=Success,” outlined the desperate need for teachers in the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. By 2010, the report warned, Georgia will need to produce 2,060 middle school science and high school teachers of life sciences, chemistry, earth science and physics.
This is a problem we have seen constantly, and even elsewhere in the world. The United Kingdom is also have the same problem.
But how do you begin to tackle this problem when you are faced with this:
“We can prepare someone to be a very good physics teacher,” says university system official Mark Pevey. “The problem is getting someone interested in teaching period and then getting someone interested in teaching physics. All too often, students are told by those they respect that they can do better than teaching. It’s a real problem for the profession.”
An increase in how much we are willing to pay such teachers might be a start, but that alone may not be enough. Besides, it is also isn't sufficient to simply get warm bodies into teaching these various science subjects. How do we get someone who is not only good in the subject, but also talented and keen on teaching to do it?