DCU, TU Dublin, UL to offer free postgrad training for teachers in Ireland
Hundreds of secondary school teachers in Ireland will be able to apply for free third-level upskilling courses offered by higher education institutions in the country. The free programmes on offer include a professional diploma for teaching physics offered by Dublin City University (DCU) in collaboration with partners in the University of Limerick (UL) and NUI Galway (NUIG).
These free postgraduate courses offered by universities in Ireland will provide an opportunity for local teachers to upskill themselves.
The qualifications offered by these universities will prepare teachers to teach subjects like mathematics, physics, and Spanish.
Teachers will also have the opportunity to enrol for a higher diploma programme in Spanish for teaching by University College Cork, Ireland (UCC) and a professional diploma in mathematics for teaching by UL, NUI Galway, DCU, Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) and other institutes of higher education.
This initiative is aimed at tackling what school managers and teachers’ unions identify as a growing teacher supply “crisis” in key subjects at the post-primary level.
The Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching programme is designed to upskill out of field registered post-primary mathematics teachers.
The Professional Diploma in Physics for Teaching is a new programme designed to upskill post-primary teachers by helping them acquire theoretical and experimental knowledge of physics as well as pedagogical content knowledge that is necessary for effective physics teaching at post-primary level.
The Higher Diploma in Spanish for Teachers programme takes participants from A2 Spanish language level competence to the required B2.2 level under the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
The programme will be delivered using a virtual learning platform, CANVAS that facilitates online and weekend delivery favouring a flipped-classroom approach.
The programmes will be open as many as 160 registered second-level teachers irrespective of their employment status for each intake across the three programmes.
These two-year programmes will be carried out on a part-time basis and will be delivered in a flexible way to allow as many teachers in partial or full employment to enrol.
The programmes have been designed that allow teachers to upskill themselves without impacting class contact time for currently serving teachers.
Teachers who are interested in the programmes can apply directly to the relevant higher education institutions.
Minister for Education, Norma Foley said that secondary schools have highlighted teacher recruitment challenges in subject areas, including in STEM and modern foreign languages.
Foley said that this initiative is an “exciting opportunity for teachers to upskill in a flexible way with no fee cost, to increase their own opportunities for employment while addressing recruitment challenges in these subject areas”.
Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris thanked higher education institutions for coming forward with innovative approaches to provide upskilling opportunities for teachers through these programmes.