|What Teachers Say|
Electronics teachers have had plenty of positive things to say about their experience of teaching electronics. Teachers have found the enthusiasm of their pupils to be a great source of satisfaction and immensely rewarding.
The main benefits of teaching electronics, from teachers’ perspectives are:
Teaching electronics can be a boost to teachers' ICT skills. Electronics in design & technology is a focus area in which ICT skills are a key element, for both pupils and teachers. Computer aided design packages, and other programmes such as Crocodile Clips and PIC Logicator are just a few of the software packages that are available on the market.
“ Acquiring the skills to teach electronic products really well is a very sound career move. We know there is a shortage of those teachers. Teachers who acquire those skills are going to be able to move to good jobs, wherever they want.” - David Barlex, Curriculum Adviser to EiS
Undergoing training is a key part of teachers' professional development. Training gives new teachers the knowledge they need to become confident electronics teachers. It also brings experienced electronics teachers up to date on new teaching practices and technologies, and networking is a perfect opportunity for teachers to share ideas.
Professional development is not just about having the knowledge of electronics technologies and how they work. It is also about knowing how to teach the subject in a way that really engages the interest of pupils, and knowing how to work within each school’s unique environment.
Within the national curriculum guidelines for design & technology, electronics teachers are left with a wide scope within which to develop schemes of work and design and make activities. Whilst some teachers may prefer a more structured approach, the flexibility that this gives teachers can be an advantage.
“Teachers can choose the materials and areas that they feel confident in, and work with those with pupils.” Jonathan Gershon, Harrow Curriculum Adviser
In some cases, electronics teachers have joined forces with other design & technology focus areas such as textiles to expand the scope of practical work for pupils. This can be a useful way to add variety to the subject and stretch pupils imaginations. Take a look at going further in the teaching advice section to find out more.
The following case study gives one teacher's account of the impact that Electronics in Schools has had on him, his department and his students.
(This material was originally created for the Electronics in Schools Project and published on the dedicated website electronicsinschools.com)