Education - STEM Education
The Master of Arts degree programme in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education is a two-year, part-time programme offering a focus on integrative and innovative approaches to STEM education through exploring socially responsive teaching and research informed by national and international developments in school and education settings.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education plays an important role in developing STEM-related literacies, in promoting creative and critical thinking and in advancing problem-solving skills.
The programme is intended for teachers and educators who want to develop their skills as they critique, investigate, and disseminate new approaches to STEM education and become STEM leaders in their workplaces. The variety of experiences provided in the programme will build competency and knowledge in STEM education-related research and will be framed within a primary education context. It will be delivered using face-to-face and some blended learning components.
Four STEM Education modules and two Research modules constitute the core programme components:
STEM 1: Key Paradigms in STEM Education
This module examines the fundamentals of relevant paradigms, learning theories and frameworks with a specific focus on STEM education. Cognitive, affective and conceptual development will be used to analyse and appraise pedagogical approaches. Strategies to promote discussion, argumentation and critical thinking in STEM will be examined. Participants will review the characteristics of the systems and structures (educational and/or others) within which they are working, through exploration and application of such theories and frameworks.
STEM 2: Critical Perspectives and Policy in STEM Education
This module is designed to enhance participants' appreciation of the multi-faceted factors which contribute to equity of access and opportunity based on social class, ethnicity and gender, in STEM fields. The module identifies and interrogates connections between educational experience and the under-representation of particular social categories in STEM careers. Participants will apply their practitioner perspectives and experiences from professional practice to critical themes explored throughout this module.
STEM 3: Communications and Industry
This module allows participants to examine and look critically at features of successful STEM communication and outreach. The wide diversity of goals, motivations and purposes of public engagement are explored. Participants also critically examine and analyse how STEM is communicated and portrayed in the media. This module examines different practices and models of communication in facilitating public participation with STEM, allowing the participants' time to examine their own practice, and modify existing approaches in encouraging public engagement in STEM.
STEM 4: Expanding the Boundaries of STEM
This module creates a bridge between foundational STEM education and the world of STEM beyond the classroom. It explores the cross-curricular integration of STEM disciplines in the classroom. It explores the integration of STEM disciplines in the classroom, using problem and inquiry based learning approaches to more closely align individual STEM skills with higher order independent thinking and problem solving. Educators are encouraged to enhance student engagement with STEM through an understanding of the science of the world around them and the use of engineering and technologies to modify and enhance that world. Collaborative pedagogies which promote the enhanced interaction and engagement of students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics are promoted. Practitioners are encouraged to reflect on practice, and modify existing approaches in order to engage students more effectively with the STEM area.
STEM 5: Special Studies in STEM Education
This module provides opportunities to take on the role of STEM champions in an educational context beyond the classroom. Participants will be supported in disseminating their research and scholarship in STEM teaching and learning. This will be carried out by providing mentoring in preparing an abstract for submission to either a journal, teacher practitioner outlet/forum, or a conference in teaching and learning. Alternatively, participants will be supported in contributing to the sustainability of STEM education through the creation of, or contribution towards, an online (or other) community of practice in STEM education.
Research 1: Applied Research Project
This module enables students to devise and complete an independent academic research project based on a question of their choice. This module aims to prepare students to structure, develop and interrogate a research question following critical exploration of contemporary research methods in education.
Research 2: Principles and Practice of Research in Education
The purpose of the module is to facilitate postgraduate student's acquisition of the skills of literature search and review and the skills of research design and proposal writing. Students will be introduced to how, and in what ways to do a literature search and write a literature review and conceptualise/write a research design.
Applicants should be holders of a First or upper Second class Honours undergraduate degree in a relevant or cognate discipline and/or have evidence of relevant experience and extensive prior learning in the discipline.
Please note: We welcome expressions of interest from all those interested in STEM education and we realise potential applicants may have a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Please contact the programme coordinator, Dr. Aisling Leavy (Aisling.Leavy@mic.ul.ie), if you do not meet the above requirements or have alternative complementary experiences or qualifications.
English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.
2 years part-time