More students from Wageningen University will be able to teach in secondary education. The number of degree programmes in which students can take the Education minor to obtain a grade two teaching qualification is being extended.
There will be a special programme for Animal Sciences and Plant Sciences students enabling them to become biology teachers, explains Martin Mulder, a professor and head of the Education and Competence Studies Group. 'Biology teachers need to be able to talk not just about plants but also about humans and animals. For instance, Plant Sciences students could take Human Biology courses to bring their knowledge up to scratch.'
Students doing Biology, Molecular Life Sciences or Economics and Policy have been able to take an Education minor since 2009. This allows them to become a teacher with a grade two qualification in biology, chemistry or economics respectively. The grade two teaching qualification allows them to teach pupils in the first few years of secondary schools preparing for university or university of applied science, and pupils in the theoretical stream of preparatory vocational secondary education.
So now that option has been extended to six related disciplines, says Mulder. 'That is nice because it gives students more choices for their future. But it is also good for education because there is a huge shortage of science teachers. And because the teacher population is aging, we will soon need even more teachers.'
The minor gives students a taste of what a future in teaching would be like. Mulder says there has already been a lot of interest in the teacher training programme over the past two years. 'I am optimistic that there will also be students applying from the new degree programmes. That means we may be able to offer this minor in both the first half and the second half of the academic year. We might even be able to set up training for grade one teachers in Wageningen next autumn. Every teacher one of our training programmes produces is an ambassador for the University.'