Ireland - STEM Education Policy
The STEM Policy of Ireland is the Irish national plan for the period 2021 - 2026, which aims to foster the development of a more engaged and digitally-savvy society and a highly-skilled workforce throughout Ireland. It also aims to enhance Ireland's image as a top education and training environment for all Europeans. As the plan's title suggests, another objective is to facilitate entry into career fields related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for all and promote the development of computational thinking and digital skills.
To achieve these high-level goals, Ireland's STEM Policy puts forward several action points to ensure concrete outcomes and encourage STEM education:
- In early years settings.
- In schools.
- In Initial Teacher Education and in teachers’ induction into the profession, and their ongoing learning.
- In Science, Mathematics, Technology and Engineering provision/courses in higher and further education.
- In informal learning.
Ireland's STEM policy equally aims to streamline education and training activities and ensure that learners, students, teachers, leaders (and schools and society as a whole) can benefit from a continuously improving vibrant and high-quality STEM education. In this context, Ireland's STEM policy is based on 4 main Pillars:
- Pillar 1 - Nurturing learner engagement and participation.
- Pillar 2 - Enhancing teacher and early-years' practitioner capacity.
- Pillar 3 - Supporting STEM education practice.
- Pillar 4 - Using evidence to support STEM education.
Activities are planned in 3 main phases:
- Phase 1: 2017-2019 (Enhancing).
- Phase 2: 2020-2022 (Embedding).
- Phase 3: 2023-2026 (Realising).
This policy statement has been developed following extensive consultations with representatives of the academic sector, employers' organisations and government stakeholders, based on a review of national and international research.