‘Teaching sounds attractive to me,’ is what Gerry van der Kamp-Alons hears each year from a number of Political Science students. But they usually don’t have a realistic idea of teaching at secondary school. The assistant professor of International Relations wrote a plan to change this.
Gerry van der Kamp-Alons - A double-edged sword: education-related professional orientation in the Political Science Bachelor’s programme.
Reason behind this project
Every year there are several Political Science students that would like to have a job as a teacher in the future. However, many students drop out of the training programme at the university. And of those who do start teaching, quite a few choose a different career in only a few years. This shows that bachelor students are not informed enough about the workfield of education during their studies.
Approach within the project
In each year of the Political Science Bachelor’s programme some orientation to teaching is added to one of the courses and focus on translating field-specific knowledge to a teaching and learning situation. For example, an assignment in which students make a lesson plan for secondary school classes about elections. Students who enjoy this can also follow a teaching lab. In this elective they do research on education together with a secondary school teacher, a teacher of Political Science and a teacher from the Radboud Teachers Academy. They develop a curriculum with a theme connected to one of the subdisciplines in Political Science and to the final examination programme of the secondary school subject. The curriculum is implemented immediately and is thaught by the students themselves.
The goal is to let students make a better informed and sustainable choice for a career in education. The idea is to gradually give students a taste of being a teacher. This shows them how theory is formed and used in practice.