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stem can lead the way marcella klein williams california stem learning network
STEM Can Lead the Way

Marcella Klein Williams

California STEM Learning Network

background
Background
  • California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet) commissioned interviews with 30 experts in STEM education and teacher preparation and a written synthesis of their views on barriers, opportunities and promising practices.
why stem
Why STEM?
  • U.S. needs STEM-literate citizens
  • Business and industry do not have enough candidates to fill key jobs in STEM fields
  • Young children - even babies - learn and think in ways that are similar to how scientists learn and think
  • We need to deliberately invest in STEM education for children much earlier in their education and careers, starting in preschool
what is stem
What is STEM?

Education in math or science, using the design approaches from engineering and the tools of technology when it makes sense to do so, through a combination of hands-on, student-centered projects and direct instruction.

common core state standards
Common Core State Standards
  • Common Core State Standards in Mathematics
    • The overall emphasis is on high cognitive demand tasks that stress conceptual understanding, problem solving and procedural skill and fluency.
  • Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts
    • Important for STEM, the ELA standards include standards for literacy in other subjects including science, technical subjects, and history and social sciences.
    • Since most scientists and mathematicians spend upwards of 50 percent of their time reading and writing, a STEM-literate student is also an ELA-literate student.
next generation science standards ngss
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • The NGSS are based on the idea that K-12 science education should reflect real-world interconnections in science.
  • Experts interviewed noted the links and alignment between the new standards and what innovative STEM teacher preparation programs are already training teacher-candidates to do.
barriers to improving students learning in stem subjects
Barriers to Improving Students Learning in STEM Subjects
  • Preparation, induction and professional learning programs for teachers of all subjects are in general discreet, disconnected and repetitive.
  • Most of our K-8 teachers have inadequate math and science content knowledge, and they are confused about how to teach these subjects
  • Current practices and priorities of higher education institutions get in the way of improving student learning in STEM subjects.
  • The values and practices of the sciences and mathematics professions de-incentivize high quality teaching.
  • Lack of communication and alignment between the systems that serve children ages birth-to-5 and the K-12 system.
what has to change
What Has to Change?
  • Transform a chaotic system of discreet preparation and training experiences into a coherent, aligned and logical system of continuous and progressive training
  • Content knowledge, pedagogical training and clinical practice should be integrated in teacher preparation programs.
  • Two-and-four-year colleges and graduate schools of education should collaborate with school districts and county offices of education
  • Teachers should be organized into professional learning communities and learn to work in teams and they need to be treated as the professionals they are
what has to change1
What Has to Change?
  • Teacher-candidates and higher education faculty should ramp up their efforts to learn to use technology appropriately as a tool to accomplish multiple objectives
  • We should ask teachers to demonstrate new and deeper competencies as they progress though each phase of their teaching careers, and we should recognize and reward them accordingly.
  • Hold all teacher preparation and induction programs accountable for each teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom using multiple measures
all stakeholders must
All Stakeholders Must…
  • Own their roles in the problem
  • Craft a common vision
  • Define their roles in the solution
  • Complete the process of “backwards designing” a new roadmap.
thank you
THANK YOU!

Contact Information

Contact Marcella Klein Williams

E-mail mkleinwilliams@cslnet.org

Website www.cslnet.org

On the Web

/cslnet

@castemlearning

The California STEM Learning Network