Academic journal article Technology and Engineering Teacher

[STEM.Sup.4]: The Power of Collaboration for Change: A Joint Document Authored by Advance CTE, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Council of State Science Supervisors, and International Technology and Engineering Educators Association

Academic journal article Technology and Engineering Teacher

[STEM.Sup.4]: The Power of Collaboration for Change: A Joint Document Authored by Advance CTE, Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, Council of State Science Supervisors, and International Technology and Engineering Educators Association

Article excerpt

Background

As a nation we are falling short in preparing students for college majors or careers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).Too few high school graduates have the knowledge, skills, and experiences to be prepared for STEM fields. For instance, according to the National Science Board, 25% of twelfth graders achieved a level of proficient or higher in mathematics and 22% of twelfth graders achieved a level of proficient or higher on the NAEP science assessment in 2015. (1) Furthermore, there are significant racial and socioeconomic ineguities that limit students' opportunities for careers or post-secondary study. Additionally, a recent survey conducted by PayScale Inc. cited that 60% of business leaders surveyed felt that recent college graduates do not possess the critical thinking and problem-solving experiences necessary for their jobs. (2) With rapidly advancing technologies, the concept of STEM careers is expanding beyond computer science and engineering. A growing number of fields impacted by technological advances, such as healthcare, telecommunications, advanced manufacturing, and the arts, are STEM careers.

The Major Issue

The future of our nation is dependent on the children in our care. In an age of continually advancing technologies and a society more global than ever before, we must do better in preparing our students to contribute to and thrive in their world. The reliance upon a high-quality, robust, and equitable STEM education system for our nation's children has never been more paramount. It has been estimated that 65% of the children entering elementary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that have not yet been envisioned. (3) It is incumbent upon all stakeholders involved in STEM education to dedicate themselves, through collaborative efforts, to ensuring our children have the academic and experiential preparation necessary for them to pursue the STEM pathway of their choice that leads them toward college and career.

Acknowledging the need for change is not enough, however. Evidence indicates pervasive disparities in STEM preparedness based on race, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, and gender. Recent surveys of predominantly minority schools have indicated that: (4)

* High schools with a majority African-American or Latino enrollment are less likely to offer math and science classes, especially at advanced levels.

* Only 38% offered calculus, compared to 50% of all high schools.

* Just 51%, offered physics, compared to 60% of high schools overall.

* Children living in poverty, on average, are four years behind in academic performance than children living at high income levels. (5)

The most recent census projects that by 2045 the nation will become "minority white" as the combined multiracial populations grow and the current majority white population ages, indicating that these gaps are likely to increase without interventions that change the trajectory. (6)

Additionally, students' P-12 and after-school experiences should develop the skills needed to contribute to and live successfully in a global society. The World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs report cited that the top ten skills anticipated for 2020 will shift significantly from 2015. (7)

Top 10 Skills in 2015 were:

1. Complex problem
solving

2. Coordinating with others

3. People management

4. Critical thinking

5. Negotiation

6. Quality control

7. Service orientation

8. Judgment and
decision-making

9. Active listening

10. Creativity

Top 10 Skills in 2020 will be:

1. Complex problem
solving

2. Critical thinking

3. Creativity

4. People management

5. Coordinating with others

6. Emotional intelligence

7. Judgment and
decision-making

8. Service orientation

9. Negotiation

10. Cognitive flexibility

Source: Future of Jobs Report. World Economic Forum

These skills are not taught separately from content, but by strategically integrating the practices of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as tools that students use to explain phenomenon and solve problems. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.