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Primary Education News
News Aussies quit teaching early, the demise of outdoor play and science teacher shortage
This week's research round up includes: concerns about science teacher shortages, a camera children can build and why the staff room is causing Australian teachers to quit
School's out early for Australian teachers
Around half of Australian teachers leave the profession within five years, university researchers have found.
Overwhelming workloads, unsupportive staff rooms and employers' preference for short-term contracts have been cited as the main points of discontent by recent graduates. Dr Philip Riley, who is leading the study at Monash University, estimates that between 40% to 50% of graduates seek work in another profession within their first five years of teaching.
The study is due to be published later this year and Riley is carrying out ongoing global research into teachers exiting the profession with Dr Andrea Gallant at Deakin University. They plan to conduct in-depth interviews with about 200 former teachers from across the world in order to better understand early career teacher disillusionment.
Read more about why teachers are leaving the profession early on Education Guardian.
Science and maths teacher shortage awaits
A shortage of science and maths teachers could hit England next summer, a professor has warned.
More than 800 training places for Stem subjects have been unfilled on the government's new School Direct scheme, according to professor John Howson from Oxford Brookes University, who analysed acceptances onto the scheme.
Physics had the highest number of empty places, with more than seven out of 10 positions unfilled. In chemistry, 63% of salaried places and 57% of unsalaried positions remain open. For maths, the figures were 56% and 61% respectively. Recruitment for biology was stronger, with 71% of salaried trainee roles taken.
Read more about the potential teacher shortages on BBC News.
Worry about neighbours prevents outside play
Fear of annoying the neighbours is stopping a third of parents from letting their children play outside, a survey suggests.
The poll, carried out by the campaign group responsible for Playday 2013, found people were worried residents would be upset by the noise. More than a quarter of the 1,000 parents questioned said they were apprehensive they would be judged by neighbours if their kids played outside unsupervised. Traffic, stranger danger and lack of dedicated play areas were further cited as major barriers.
Playday 2013 also spoke to 1,000 children. Around one in 10 said adults in their area tended to disapprove of them playing outside and thought they were up to no good when they were with friends.
Read more about the findings on BBC News.
Digital camera teaches children advanced technology
Children can now build their own digital camera and learn how its technology works thanks to a computer science professor.
Concepts that would usually only be taught at university have been made accessible to kids as young as eight. The Bigshot camera, created by Professor Shree Nayar from Columbia University, comes with an interactive guide explaining the science behind its components. Nayar said he wanted to enable children to understand concepts like image processing and display technology, as well as know how to build hardware.
The camera features a hand crank that allows owners to take pictures when its battery runs out and a rotatable wheel enables users to choose between regular, panoramic and 3D shots.
Read more about the Bigshot camera on BBC News.