An Engine for STEM Education Reform

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Venue:Academic Health Center 3-205

Abstract:

Rapid emergence of a global economy driven by science and technology has precipitated a crisis in the U.S. education system. Cries of alarm continue to echo throughout the news media as U.S. education falls further and further behind –– not only behind the pace of technological change, but also the educational performance of other countries. In response, a national consensus has emerged calling for comprehensive K-12 STEM education reform. However, the U.S. education system, with critical functions and responsibilities dispersed among schools, school districts, colleges of education and government agencies, has proven to be too ponderous and unfocussed to enact timely, significant reform. Briefly put, our education system lacks institutional mechanisms for rapid adaptive change. Ultimately, all reform is local. Therefore, the key to education reform is empowering teachers as agents of change. We discuss how the STEM education crisis can be addressed by incorporating this principle in the design of a robust engine to drive rapid, deep and sustained STEM education reform nationwide.