Could PhD students help to solve the teacher recruitment crisis?

Phd graduates urged to teach

An idea of explaining theses titles in language that children can understand forms the basis of a new teacher recruitment campaign

A new government-backed scheme which aims to attract better quality candidates into teaching has launched an unusual publicity campaign.

Researchers in Schools, a Teach First-style scheme which trains people with doctorates to teach, has used an advert to spark a social media campaign, encouraging people to “translate” the mystifying titles of their PhD theses into language a child could understand.

“If you can explain it to a kid, you’re an expert,” the tagline reads.

The thesis used as the basis for the campaign’s initial press advert was completed by a PhD student who is now a trainee teacher on the programme, which has trained 100 people since 2014.

The publicity has sparked a flurry of people to post the titles of their doctorates on to social media, accompanied by a simple explanation for schoolchildren.

‘A great deal of interest’

The organisation, which allows people with doctorates to train as teachers at the same time as spending one day a week researching in their chosen field, has government funding until 2020. It is run by the charity The Brilliant Club, which aims to help widen access to university for young people from under-represented groups.

The scheme received plaudits from schools minister Nick Gibb in August 2015, when he said it was the current government initiative he was “most excited about”.

Jed Cinnamon, national programme director of Researchers in Schools, said: “We also know that there is a great deal of interest in classroom teaching in the research community.

“We hope the new adverts will stop potential participants in their tracks, and make them think about how their research could be used to inspire the next generation, and how teaching can offer an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career”.

Here are some examples of PhD theses posted on social media, with translations for schoolchildren:

Phd graduates urged to become teachers

phd graduates urged to teach

phds urged to teach

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