Monday, January 7, 2013

Hanover Report on Scalable Best Practices In STEM

In the following report,Scalable Best Practices in K-12 STEM Education,Hanover describes cost-effective, scalable approaches to STEM education from the standpoints of teacher recruitment, retention, and professional development as well as successful STEM teaching practices. We conclude by outlining state- and district-wide initiatives recently implemented in Kentucky, Texas, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Indiana, and Minnesota.
Timely research often leads to further questions. As such, we have listed potential future projects that Hanover could complete on behalf of your school district:
-          What STEM programs and instructional methods are being used internationally?
-          What are effective strategies to attract more female students to STEM programs?
-          Which programs best prepare K-12 students for college and career level STEM?
-          What community partnerships have peer districts established to enrich STEM curricula, motivation, and mentorship opportunities?
Key Findings:
v  STEM teacher recruitment poses a significant challenge to efforts to improve STEM education nationwide. Many states, including New Jersey and Texas, have turned their attention to those seeking alternative teacher certification, since these candidates most often have undergraduate STEM credentials or professional experience.
v  Through the New Jersey Alternate Route Program, college graduates can seek employment as state teachers without obtaining a teaching license. Provisional teachers recruited in this way automatically enter the Provisional Teaching Program, a system of instructional requirements, supervision, and mentorship leading to permanent teaching certification.
v  An exhaustive report by Means et al. at SRI International reveals illustrative differences between the structure and characteristics of selective as opposed to inclusive STEM academies. Although both school types tend to promote similar instructional methods and recruit similar numbers of qualified teachers, inclusive STEM schools, which do not predicate admission on test scores or previous academic performance, tend to differ from selective STEM schools in several key aspects.
v  Both inclusive and selective STEM schools underscore lab-based, technology-supported, and project-based instructional techniques. Ninety-seven percent of schools reported emphasizing lab-based science learning, 94 percent claimed to emphasize technology-supported learning tools, and 85 percent reported promoting project-based learning.
v  The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices highlights state STEM efforts in Rhode Island, Minnesota, Indiana, and Massachusetts. Initiatives in these states differ in breadth and emphasis but reflect several common concerns, primarily alignment of secondary STEM requirements with postsecondary expectations through expansion of dual enrollment and AP offerings. Several of the states profiled also plan to implement K-12 or K-16 longitudinal data systems to track student performance and identify effective measures.

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