MIT program aims to bring physicists and engineers from their jobs to the teaching workforce

Stem teacher leaving his job to start teaching

Graduates and workers in the careers of science, technology, engineering and math are joining a new MIT teaching program.

It’s well known that teaching might not be one of the highest paying jobs. However, it sure can be one of the most satisfying and enriching activities. On the other hand, some engineering or physicist positions are well compensated and most of the time there are plenty of vacancies available. For some, it seems obvious which way to go once university is over. Even though enrolling in big companies seem the best option, some STEM graduates and workers, discouraged by their work activities, are joining a new MIT program to learn how to teach.

The Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning and the MIT Teaching Systems Lab awarded a series of grants to MIT researchers working to advance the quality of teacher preparation. It intends to reinvent teacher training through a master's program. Candidates are graduates of STEM disciplines, and former engineering or physicist employees, who will work with a curriculum based on real-world experiences and challenges faced by teachers.

 

The WW Academy’s purpose is to prepare candidates to teach effectively with the help of technology and new methodologies. This academy will conduct controlled experiments that will combine teaching practice with the experience of MIT researchers to explore what works and what can be improved in classrooms. Through a mix of mentoring of experienced teachers from Boston area schools and practice time in a simulation lab, candidates will obtain real and rigorous preparation before graduating.

This MIT program seeks to establish a new standard for teacher preparation. The design process of this master's degree in education aims to generate and experiment with innovative methods of teaching and evaluation.

This is not the only effort to bring STEM graduates and professionals into teaching. The University of Texas at Austin has a teaching program to keep graduates in classrooms.