Successful Pilot Raises the Bar for STEM Education in Scotland
The RAiSE programme will now be made available to other regions on a rolling basis to improve primary teachers’ confidence and ability to deliver high-quality, engaging STEM lessons to young people.
More than two-thirds of primary school teachers are more confident teaching STEM subjects thanks to their involvement with the Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) programme, figures show.
An external evaluation found that 70% of primary practitioners benefited from the initiative while 87% of pupils enjoyed challenges in their STEM learning. Around 77% of pupils also had increased aspirations in regards to STEM careers following their involvement in the programme.
The evaluation, carried out by the Robert Own Centre and the University of Glasgow, found that that flexibility of the programme had increased teacher confidence in a pupil engagement in a “sustainable, collaborative and systemic way”.
Following this initial success, RAiSE will be made available to other regions on a rolling basis to improve primary teachers’ confidence and ability to deliver high-quality, engaging STEM lessons to young people.
Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead MSP, welcomed the extension of the programme and hailed the results of the pilot scheme.
“I’m pleased to see the positive results from the evaluation of the RAiSE pilot, particularly in raising teacher confidence in delivering STEM in the school curriculum,” he said.
“It’s clear that the programme has brought benefits to those in the initial eight local authorities that participated,” Lochhead added. “I am sure that these benefits will also be seen in the four authorities who joined the programme this year, and I look forward to more authorities taking advantage of the flexibility of the programme to suit their local needs.”
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The RAiSE programme is delivered through a partnership of Education Scotland, The Wood Foundation, Scottish Government and participating local authorities.
The programme has delivered more than 600 professional opportunities, resulting in 6,500 engagements with teachers.
Gayle Gorman, chief executive of Education Scotland, said the programme is an “exceptional example of how working collaboratively with local authorities can deliver real outcomes” for schools in Scotland.
“Supporting our teachers is vital to delivering the RAiSE programme and it is encouraging to see their increased confidence and skills having a flow-on effect to improving pupil engagement with STEM,” Gorman added.
Ali MacLachlan, UK director of The Wood Foundation, commented: “We are incredibly proud of the work being undertaken by the RAiSE team throughout Scotland and delighted that the evaluation confirms this model is an efficient, effective and impactful way to sustainably address the needs of primary teachers and pupils in relation to high-quality STEM education.
“Motivating and engaging young people in STEM is vital for their continued education and developing their skills to prepare them for the world of work.”