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How Are Organizations Training Effective STEM Teachers?

How Are Organizations Training Effective STEM Teachers?

The Annual Partner Survey from 100Kin10, the national network committed to training and retaining 100,000 excellent K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers by 2021 has revealed some insight into how the leading K-12 STEM education organizations are training effective teachers to keep up with the increasingly prioritized movement.

In total, the survey analyzed 242 programs offered by 157 unique partner organizations of 100Kin10 to find that incorporating new standards and emphasizing pedagogical content knowledge are the two top priorities for both preparing new teachers and developing existing ones (75.5 percent and 70.5 percent, respectively). Another and perhaps more interesting common priority among organizations was educating teachers specifically in engineering (41 percent of respondents cited this as a high priority).

Still, 100Kin10 says this relatively low percentage indicates programs can be doing more to educate teachers in engineering.

"Engineering is explicit in the Next Generation Science Standards and is used as a methodology to contextualize science for deeper learning and to teach students critical thinking skills,” the survey says.

"The 100Kin10 Partner Survey finds that 100Kin10 partners offer engineering instruction training for teachers, but that there is room to do more,” it says.

Not so high on the priority chain was active learning (11 percent) or social-emotional learning (8 percent) and notably absent was any mention of teaching computer science skills.

The partners surveyed represent a wide-range of organizations such as school districts, higher education institutions, non-profits, media organizations and more.

In order to get the most-telling survey results from each organization, 100Kin10 developed six separate surveys based on what “stage in the teacher lifecycle” the program focused on.

These stages are defined as: recruit, prepare, hire, induct, develop and advance.

Based on the differentiated surveys, 100Kin10 found that training programs that managed to get more than 90 percent of participants hired were most likely to focus on teaching pedagogical content knowledge, but 100Kin10 notes that it will have to conduct more research before making a conclusive statement about this relationship.

"Our hope is that this survey holds a mirror to both our network partners and the field at large to help all of us reflect on priorities and improve,” it said.

Read the full survey here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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