Professa Hamsa Venkat, is the new Naughton Family Chair in STEM Education at Dublin City University which will be the first in Ireland to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education at primary level and in early childhood education and will be based at DCU’s Institute of Education, Ireland’s only University Faculty of Education. Professor Venkat had a positive experience of maths at school in London, and she followed her early ambition to become a mathematics teacher, working for several years before moving into research. Most recently she held a chair at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where much of her research looked at ways to encourage both competence and confidence in maths among students and teachers. One of the initiatives, called ‘I Hate Maths’, recognises that teachers may fear maths and to help them develop their skills and enthusiasm without fear of reproach. Her new role will see Professor Venkat working with colleagues in the DCU Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL), DCU Institute of Education, DCU Faculty of Science & Health and DCU Faculty of Engineering & Computing.

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