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New Report Offers Roadmap For Success in K-12 STEM Education

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K-12 STEM education

The National Research Council report's recommendations include devoting adequate instructional time and resources to science in grades K-5.

Photo courtesy of Amy Snyder, Exploratorium,

A new U.S. National Research Council report, "Successful K-12 STEM Education," identifies the characteristics of successful K-12 schools and programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The report outlines recommendations for local schools and districts, as well as ways that state and national policy makers can improve STEM education. Districts that want to improve STEM education should consider the adoption of STEM-focused schools, such as a selective STEM school for academically talented students, inclusive STEM high schools known as magnet schools, and schools with STEM-focused career and technical education. Districts also should devote more instructional time and resources to the sciences in grades K-5, and better educate K-12 STEM teachers by providing professional development that can help create school conditions that facilitate student achievement.

State and national policy makers should give science the same level of importance as reading and mathematics in educational programs. They also need to develop better systems of assessment that emphasize science practices instead of factual recall.

The report will guide several follow-up and implementation activities to bring the results to practitioners and STEM education leaders, says the U.S. National Science Foundation's Joan Ferrini-Mundy.

From National Science Foundation
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