Three Optimistic STEM Education Trends
By Talia Milgrom-Elcott | Forbes
This week the organisation 100Kin10 released its annual Trends Report, looking back at what has changed in the past year and looking ahead to better understand what changes might be coming. Read on to see what trajectory education might be taking.
In 2021, they expect to see increased focus, funding, and fortitude in addressing social inequities. We’re seeing more organisations focus on racial justice in STEM, investigating pedagogy, curriculum, textbooks, assessments, grading and more through a racial-equity lens and being willing not only to examine but to change practise.
At the same time, there is a growing subset of leading organisations in STEM working to better understand and address systemic inequities that persist despite past efforts.
This moment of rapid change may have opened the dams, creating space to reconsider long-held assumptions.
- Grading: Across the country, many teachers have expressed questions about the cost/benefit of traditional grading. There have been teachers debating whether eliminating grading takes the pressure off students, and whether grading and standardised tests might not only stem from but perpetuate racial bias.
- Attendance: It is becoming increasingly clear to teachers that attendance might be a necessary but insufficient indicator of learning, and it’s engagement, not presence, that should “count” as attendance.
- Schedules: As any teen (or parent) can tell you, teenagers do not like waking up early. Researchers studying later start times think they may have mental and physical health benefits for students, leading more teachers and school administrators to reconsider early school start times.
We’re hearing from large and small, local and national teacher preparation programmes that interest in teaching is up and teacher recruitment is on the rise. Across our network of leading STEM teacher preparers, more people are choosing teaching now than did 2-3 years ago.
With more teachers coming into the pipeline in 2021, perhaps we’re seeing the beginnings of a fundamental shift in how our nation respects and values teachers, with all the changes in workplace conditions, pay and other supports that teachers’ role as essential workers demands.