The Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL), Dublin City University, is seeking a full time PhD candidate to work on the Erasmus+ funded project titled Supporting Transitions Across Mathematics and Physics Education (STAMPEd). The candidate will work under the supervision of CASTeL principal investigators Dr Paul Grimes (Institute of Education, Dublin City University) and Dr Eilish McLoughlin (School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University). STAMPEd is a collaborative project with 6 partners across 4 EU countries.
Transitions in education can provide several challenges for both students and teachers. Between the ages of 10 and 16 students undertake several transitions in their school lives. These include transitions across school systems (e.g. primary level to second level), transitions between different teachers, transitions across subjects (for example from general/broad science curriculum to a specialised physics curriculum and transitions across maths and physics) and several other social transitions. These challenges can be particularly prevalent in Mathematics and Physics, as from the ages of 10 upwards, students can begin to have specialist teachers in these subjects, and links start being made between the two subjects. Transitions across school systems and between subjects can also provide challenges for teachers. Sometimes different teaching approaches can be used in different schools, and with different aged pupils. Similar content in both Mathematics and Physics can also be approached in different ways by different teachers. Education before the age of 12/13 is generally provided by generalist teachers before students move to specialised teachers for both mathematics and physics after this.
The main aim of the STAMPEd project is to develop ways that both pupils and teachers can be supported in these transitions. The project will aim to build on the work already done in the Erasmus+ funded 3DIPhE (Three Dimensions of Inquiry in Physics Education) Project . In particular, this project aims to use the learning experiences of 3DIPhE to support teachers of physics and mathematics (at both primary and second level) to carry out Practitioner Inquiry (PI), and form Professional Learning Communities of Teachers (PLCTs). The practitioner inquiries will be focused on two areas:
- Transitions in learning between Mathematics and Physics (discipline transitions)
- Transitions across primary and secondary Mathematics or Physics (structural transitions)
Role and Requirements
The PhD candidate will carry out research in Mathematics and/or Physics Education, centred around the transitions described above. The specific focus of the research will depend on the background and experience of the candidate. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (2.1 or above) in Education, Mathematics, Physics, or a related area, and should be qualified to teach at either primary or secondary level. Candidates should have some experience in educational research (quantitative or qualitative), and ideally have classroom teaching experience. The candidate must be highly motivated and have excellent research, writing and communication skills.
A tax free stipend of €17,000 per annum is offered + payment of full time annual registration fees for four years (EU student fee rate only).
How to apply
Applicants should submit a 500 word (maximum) expression of interest along with a CV to Dr Paul Grimes (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 5pm on Friday 11th September.
The expression of interest should indicate how your background and experience relate to the STAMPEd project, and should outline your broad vision for the research.