University of Limerick appoints Ireland’s first Chair of STEM Education

The University of Limerick has recently announced the appointment of Ireland’s first Professor of STEM Education, Sibel Erduran. Professor Erduran will also take on the role as the new Director of the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning, NCE-MSTL.

University of Limerick President, Professor Don Barry welcomed the appointment; “We are delighted to welcome Ireland’s first Professor of STEM Education, Sibel Erduran. This appointment is a significant milestone in the national development of STEM education and research which underpins our success as a knowledge economy. It is also timely with the establishment of the STEM Education Review Group by the Department of Education and Skills. I’ve no doubt that Professor Erduran will have much to contribute to this pressing issue at a national and international level.”

Professor Erduran is an Editor for International Journal of Science Education, Section Editor for Science Education and serves as Director on the International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Council (IHPST). A native of Cyprus, Professor Erduran achieved her PhD in Science Education and Philosophy from Vanderbilt, US, MSc in Food Chemistry from Cornell and BSc Biochemistry from Northwestern Universities.

Professor Erduran said, “I am honoured to be taking on the Chair of STEM Education at Limerick and leading the national centre for STEM education. Even though Ireland has made significant progress in science and mathematics achievement in international comparative assessments in recent years, a great deal of work remains to be done in order to understand how we can engage more learners in STEM subjects. I am excited to be leading a research-informed approach to STEM education in Ireland. Producing and using reliable evidence on STEM curriculum, pedagogy and learning will strengthen Ireland’s global competitiveness in STEM.”

She has held Visiting Professorships at Kristianstad University, Sweden and Bogazici University, Turkey; and worked at University of Bristol, King’s College London, UK and University of Pittsburgh, USA. She served as the NARST International Coordinator and held fellowships from EU Marie-Curie/TUBITAK Cofund Scheme, Spencer Foundation and Fulbright Program.

Professor Erduran has also worked as a chemistry teacher in a high school in northern Cyprus. Her research interests focus on the applications in science education of interdisciplinary perspectives on science, particularly the epistemic practices of science. In her work, she combines theoretical investigations into the nature of science with empirical classroom based research in secondary science classrooms.