Feeds

Where have all the physics teachers gone?

Long time passing...

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The government must take urgent action to combat a chronic shortage of physics teachers, the Institute of Physics said today, as a report links a steep decline in the number of A-level physics students with a lack of expert physics instructors coming into the profession.

The report, written by Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson from the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, says that government initiatives to recruit more specialist physics teachers are failing.

It also stresses that biology and chemistry graduates teaching general science need better support and more training to help them when they are teaching their students physics.

Professor Peter Main, director of education and science at the Institute of Physics argues that the government must set recruitment targets for individual sciences, not just for graduates from any science subject.

"We urgently need to recruit more specialist physics teachers. There are far fewer physicists going into teaching than chemists or biologists," he said. "This report clearly shows that pupils being taught physics by non-specialists are not performing as well. Professional development for non-specialists must be seen as a priority by both schools and the government."

As many as 30 per cent of current physics teachers are due to retire in the next ten years, and the IoP warns that if the issue of recruitment is not addressed, this will have "major ramifications" for the country's economy, according to a press statement.

"The number of trained physicists entering teaching will not be large enough to repair the damage for the foreseeable future," Main continued, before again calling on the government to make support for non-specialist teachers a priority.

"Government should provide ring-fenced funding and incentives to allow non-specialist teachers to get the training and support for teaching physics that they need," he added.

For more information on what the IoP itself is doing about this issue, point your browser here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.