Full STEAM ahead - Implications for Teacher Education in the Context of Curricular and Policy Reform in Ireland

Main Article Content

James Lovatt


STEM and more recently STEAM have become core aspects of Government policy and educational reform throughout the world. There is a central focus on preparing citizens and graduates who have expertise in STEM disciplines to drive innovative societies and economic ambitions. In many cases these changing policies are in response to the opportunities and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. In this paper, an overview of STEM policy and related curricular reform in Ireland is presented. Specific attention is paid to the importance of and implications of these policies for teacher education. It is argued that the role of the teacher, and by extension the role of teacher education, is now more complex. Challenges in preparing pre-service teachers (PSTs) to engage in pedagogical practices, including assessment, which they may not have experienced as learners are discussed. Additionally, it is proposed that there is a need to identify skills PSTs need to develop before they can effectively prepare their students for a changing society.

Article Details

How to Cite
Lovatt, J. (2021). Full STEAM ahead - Implications for Teacher Education in the Context of Curricular and Policy Reform in Ireland. Asia Research Network Journal of Education, 1(1), 1–14. Retrieved from https://so05.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/arnje/article/view/250638


Department of Education and Skills (2015a). Framework for Junior Cycle 2015. Dublin. https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Framework-for-Junior-Cycle-2015.pdf

Department of Education and Skills (2015b). Digital Strategy for Schools 2015 – 2020: Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment. https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Digital-Strategy-for-Schools-2015-2020.pdf 37

Department of Education and Skills, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2015). Junior Cycle Science: curriculum specification. Retrieved June 2019, from https://www.curriculumonline.ie/Junior-cycle/Junior-Cycle-Subjects/Science

Department of Education and Skills (2017a) STEM Education: Policy Statement 2017 – 2026 https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/STEM-Education-Policy/stem-education-policy-statement-2017-2026-.pdf

Department of Education and Skills (2017b) Action Plan for Education 2017 Action Plan for Education 2017 https://www.education.ie/en/publications/corporate-reports/strategy-statement/action-plan-for-education-2017.pdf

Initial-Teacher-Education-Criteria-and-Guidelines-for-Programme-Providers.Pdf. https://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/Publications/Teacher-Education/Initial-Teacher-Education-Criteria-and-Guidelines-for-Programme-Providers.pdf

Irish National Framework for Qualifications, https://nfq.qqi.ie/

McComas, W.F. The many reasons we teach science and what everyone should know about how it works, 2010, Establish and SMEC Conference, Dublin

McComas, W.F. (Educating Science Critics, Connoisseurs and Creators What Gifted Students Must Know about How Science Functions Gifted Education Communicator Fall 2010, Vol. 41 No. 3

Middle School • Fungi and Life Processes • Legacy Series | AST. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/middle-school-%e2%80%a2-fungi-life-processes-%e2%80%a2-legacy-series/

Report-Rocard-on-Science-Education_en.Pdf. https://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/report-rocard-on-science-education_en.pdf

Rethinking Education: Towards a Global Common Good? – UNESCO 2015 Digital Library. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000232555

SDGs: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

Specification-for-Junior-Cycle-Science.Pdf. https://www.curriculumonline.ie/getmedia/f668d804-6283-4d4a-84ab-c71e5b37d198/Specification-for-Junior-Cycle-Science.pdf

World Economic Form. https://www.weforum.org/focus/fourth-industrial-revolution.