The value of teachers as role models to drive positive change cannot be underestimated. They are often undervalued as critical influencers to inspire and motivate the next generation. Think back to your school days and you’ll most likely remember a teacher who made an impact on your life – who helped empower you to overcome barriers and realise your full potential.
In today’s fast-paced digital world the stakes are high. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution our world is changing at a pace never seen before – it’s pushing the boundaries of how we exist, and this is only the beginning.
One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is ensuring Europe has a strong talent pipeline in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to continue to innovate and advance. By 2025, it is expected there will be 8.2 million new STEM jobs in Europe*, but today there are not enough graduates – with alarmingly few women – to meet the rising demand.
Research suggests this may not improve unless young people’s attitudes to STEM, especially girls, are transformed. One way to address this is to start in the classroom.
There are more than six million school teachers in Europe today, all at the frontline to potentially lead sustainable change. As role models, they play a significant part in preparing and nurturing the next generation with the vision, self-belief and ambition to thrive in a future reality that is today’s science fiction.
However, shaping students’ perceptions of STEM and preparing them for the future of work is a long-term project that can only succeed through multistakeholder partnerships between education, industry and government.
Bringing Teachers into Industry
To harness this potential, CA Technologies launched the STEM Ambassador Academy earlier this year – designed to enhance school teachers’ understanding of the variety of careers in the tech industry, and the study paths available to their students.
Having run a pilot in the UK, this month we partnered with the Czech Republic Ministry of Education to welcome a group of teachers to our office in Prague. They spent the day taking part in a series of interactive workshops with CA software engineers to learn about skills in demand in the industry and how tech is changing the world.
Teachers attended and introduction session to unconscious bias and gender stereotyping to learn how to recognise and manage these behaviours in the classroom. In an Agile Fundamentals Lego workshop, they got hands-on experience in learning the concept of agile working, which encourages team collaboration to stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
To capture key learnings that they could take back into the classroom, teachers recorded their experience and outcomes in a professional development plan prepared by the STEM Alliance. Having established relationships with our employees – CA STEM Ambassadors – teachers now have industry connections to help them further engage their students in understanding the real value of STEM.
Businesses and governments must partner to make teacher placements in industry recognised, accessible and commonplace. Collectively, we must break down gender stereotypes, make STEM subjects fun, and invest in Europe’s teachers – who play a major role in inspiring tomorrow’s innovators and digital leaders that will take Europe forward as a major player in the global economy.
Guide to Launch Your Own Teacher Placement Program
Teacher placements in industry have been shown to positively impact the quality of students’ learning outcomes and their motivation for STEM subjects.
As a founder partner of the STEM Alliance, CA Technologies is proud to share its recent guide to help organizations develop their own teacher placement program. Titled “Developing a Successful Teacher Placement Scheme: A guide for Companies” – the guide provides a thorough starting point and checklist to help you plan and deliver a successful teacher placement program.
Learn more about how CA Technologies is addressing the STEM skills gap and gender imbalance in Europe in our Create Tomorrow report.
* Making STEM Education Attractive for Young People, STEM4Youth EU
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