‘Teaching, that appeals 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 what teaching at a secondary school is like. The assistant professor of International Relations wrote a plan to change this.
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 within 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 on teaching is added to one of the courses, which focuses on transforming field-specific knowledge to a teaching and learning situation. An example of this is an assignment in which students make a lesson plan for secondary school classes about elections.
Students who enjoy this can also participate in a teaching lab. Together with a secondary school teacher, a lecturer of Political Science and a lecturer at the Radboud Teachers Academy they do research on education. They develop a curriculum with a theme connected to one of the sub-disciplines in Political Science and to the final examination programme of the secondary school subject. The curriculum is taken into use immediately and is taught 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.