NSM Focus | New teacher-training Master's programmes enable students to become qualified teachers

Date of news: 10 December 2020

Policy advisor, mayor, municipal official, researcher... most degree programmes enable graduates to choose a range of careers, including that of teacher. As from September 2021, students who are interested in transferring their knowledge can also follow one of the two new teacher-training Master's programmes offered by Nijmegen School of Management: Social Studies and Social Sciences and Geography.

Transfer to teacher training

Students can already gain a teaching qualification after obtaining a Master's degree at the Radboud Teachers Academy (RDA: Radboud Docenten Academie), which offers one-year Master's programmes to this end. The new two-year teacher-training Master's programmes enable students to start working towards their teaching qualification immediately upon graduating from their Bachelor's programme. “Some students know for a fact that a teaching career is what they want after they graduate”, explains Henk-Jan Kooij, coordinator of the teacher-training Master's programme and Assistant Professor at Geography, Planning and Environment. “However, the track is also interesting for alumni who are looking into a career change. This Master's programme will help you update all the knowledge that you gained in the past, perhaps as much as twenty years ago. The programme can also be combined with a job: you will be given ample room to design your own study programme.”

Link between subject matter and didactics

The Faculty collaborates with the RDA: the departments of Geography, Planning and Environment and Political Science will provide the subject-specific knowledge, whereas the RDA will be responsible for the didactic component. According to Kooij, the value of a two-year Master's programme lies mainly in the amount of room that future teachers get to specialise in both these aspects: “While studying, you are already considering how you will be able to transfer your knowledge to a classroom full of pupils. This will help you to look at and interact with the study material in an entirely different way. A very strong link is made between subject matter and didactics. For example, you will be working on how to present yourself and transfer knowledge throughout the entire Master's programme. A practical placement is also part of the programme. This means that in the two years of the Master's programme you will really be trained to become both a geographer or political sociologist and a qualified teacher.”

Mix of subject fields

Kooij’s words are confirmed by Katerina Manevska, coordinator on behalf of the Political Science department and co-developer (together with Bertjan Verbeek) of the Social Studies and Social Sciences teacher-training Master's programme. “This Master's programme comprises a unique mix of political science and sociology. Following courses in both these subject fields will provide future teachers with the strong knowledge base that they will need in order to be able to teach social sciences as a secondary school final exam subject. Needless to say, ample attention will be paid to today's societal themes and the topics that occupy young people's minds. Our students will learn how political scientists and sociologists approach these themes, and how they can teach pupils to understand the underlying political and social processes that form the basis of these themes.”

The development of students into teachers will be monitored closely in both Master's tracks. Manevska: “In fact, this is a central theme – we want to offer a truly tailored programme, and this requires students to be able to reflect on themselves and on being a teacher.”

For more information about these teacher-training Master's programmes, please have a look at the website.