More than 213 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching convened in Washington, DC to foster a discussion with policymakers and researchers (see attendees) about the next generation teaching and learning environment in our nation’s high schools. We include here a brief summary of each session and presentation materials.
Plenary Talks: Setting the Stage
Tom Kalil of OSTP opened the day with thoughts about the potential of the Maker movement to influence positive change in STEM opportunities in High School. He was followed by Joan Ferrini-Mundy of NSF, who shared the 10 big ideas that NSF recently announced that will shape its future direction and their relevance to next generation STEM.
Slides: (coming soon)
Next, Sharon Lynch of The George Washington University discussed her work with inclusive STEM high schools and her identification of ten critical components for these schools. Lynch noted that these high schools did not provide a “quick fix,” instead immersing students in STEM over the course of four years. The schools in the study demonstrate that STEM-focused schools can be accessible to a wide range of students, and can be a model to respond to national needs for homegrown workers in STEM.
Slides: Logic Model for Inclusive STEM High A Logic Model for Inclusive STEM High (PDF)
Finally, Barbara Means of SRI International shared research showing that inclusive STEM high schools have enough duration and intensity to change student goals and self-perception. Inclusive STEM high schools are designed to increase the required level of STEM coursework for graduation, make STEM curriculum more engaging, enroll more students in AP and IB, and promote out of school STEM opportunities.
Slides: College Preparatory STEM Curriculum for All: Lessons from Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools (PDF)
After the plenary sessions, forum participants had the opportunity to share initial ideas through an “Ideas on Table” discussion exercise.
Sharon Lynch led a discussion about how PAEMST teacher leaders could use the ideas behind the Next Generation High School Generation movement to improve STEM education at the school, district or state levels.
Slides: PAEMST STEM Teacher/Leaders and Next Gen High Schools (PDF)
Marianne Bakia led a discussion with researchers on research question(s) of interest, to feed into the upcoming parallel sessions.
Parallel Sessions: Next Generation High School Challenges Identified by Forum Participants
Participants then contributed to concurrent sessions in the morning (Makerspaces or Cyberlearning) and concurrent sessions in the afternoon (Rigorous Coursework or Social/Emotional Learning) focused on further understanding the research base and remaining challenges. Each participant was able to attend two of the four concurrent sessions. Participants closed the day sharing reflections in a whole group session.
Maker (Parallel Session I)
Moderator: Robert (Bob) Russell (NSF)
Panelists: Eric Hamilton, Shawn Jordan, and Nichole Pinkard
Slides: Maker Panel (PDF)
Cyberlearning (Parallel Session I)
Moderator: Amy Baylor (NSF)
Panelists: Jodi Asbell-Clarke, Brenda Bannan, and David Webb
Slides: Cyberlearning Panel (PDF)
Rigorous Coursework (Parallel Session II)
Moderator: Karen King (NSF)
Panelists: Kim Cherry, William Hook, and Barbara Means
Slides: Rigorous Coursework Panel (PDF)
Social/ Emotional Learning (Parallel Session II)
Moderator: Celestine Pea (NSF)
Panelists: Erin Peters-Burton, Stacey Rutledge, and Denise Sekaquaptewa
Slides: Social/Emotional Learning Panel (PDF)
Two broad kinds of issues emerged through the day. On one hand, participants identified pressing research challenges that are relatively unique to the improving access, equity and quality of STEM in next generation high schools. On the other hand, high schools also have needs similar to the needs of all schools, such as needs for more professional development for their teachers and administrators. For effective change to occur, both sets of issues are important to attend to.
Sylvia James of NSF closed the day by expressing how honored NSF is to host the PAEMST awardees and made it clear that NSF takes their role of mediator for academic communities and educators on the ground very seriously. She emphasized the importance of the day’s conversations, and reminded participants of the approaching deadline for OSTP’s Call to Action for Active STEM Learning Strategies in K-12 Education.