Neil McIntyre's Story

Author: Neil McIntyre
Neil McIntyre's Story

Neil McIntyre travelled to Estonia and Finland in 2014 to study approaches to increasing achievement in science education.

The Fellowship

Neil is a science teacher at Webster’s High School in Angus, Scotland. Over the course of a month Neil travelled to four schools in Estonia and Finland where he spent time observing science lessons and speaking at length with teachers and pupils in an attempt to understand why these countries perform so well in science education.

During his Fellowship, Neil discovered many similarities between the Finnish and Estonian education systems. He uncovered a number of interesting practices, such as the emphasis placed on engaging young primary age pupils in science and making science subjects compulsory up to the age of eighteen. A highlight of Neil’s trip was learning about Ekool, an online communication tool used in Estonian schools which links teachers, parents and pupils together.

Watch students and teachers from Estonia talk about Ekool, an online communication tool Neil learnt about during his Fellowship 

The Results

Since returning to the UK, Neil has shared the findings from his Fellowship widely. He has spoken at national conferences and published articles in Education in Science and Education in Chemistry, highlighting the good practice that he witnessed in both countries. He has recently written an article for The Times Educational Supplement Scotland where he discussed his views on home-school communication based on his observations in Finland and Estonia.

In 2016 Neil was awarded additional funding from The Mercers’ Company to take forward one of his recommendations to establish better links between primary and secondary science education. More recently, Neil was invited, along with four pupils from Webster’s High School, to The Loudoun International Youth Leadership Summit in Washington DC which will be held in March 2017. This invitation came about as a result of the friendships made during his Fellowship.

Read Neil's report here

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