Teaching science in schools

 

Sir, – Chris Shepherd’s article on how to recruit specialist teachers should be read, learned and inwardly digested by the Cabinet (“Intervention key to getting critical mass of physics teachers”, November 30th). And then acted on in full by the Department of Education, line by line, to help in the recruitment of qualified teachers of maths, physics and chemistry.

I have one additional suggestion. Qualified teachers of these subjects should be paid a higher salary and they should be required to spend one month each summer as research interns in industry, university or the equivalent to develop their interest in their subjects, and justify for the trade unions their additional income.

Yesterday I spoke about genetics to the transition year class of a school which does not have a strong tradition of science. They were a credit to their families and their school. But the school is not able to offer chemistry or physics for the Leaving Certificate. Physics, chemistry and mathematics are fundamental to Stem, they are more easily acquired by youthful minds and they provide the most rigorous intellectual preparation for all the sciences, and indeed for logical and accurate thinking in all subjects. – Yours, etc,

DAVID McCONNELL,

(Fellow Emeritus

in Genetics

Trinity College Dublin),

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.