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STEM News Roundup: Research Reveals Program’s Success in Training STEM Teachers

STEM News Round-Up: Research Reveals Program’s Success in Training STEM Teachers

Recent research into the New Jersey Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) has indicated that the 12-18 month program is increasingly successful in helping current teachers transform into STEM leaders.

CTL is a program that is "open to teachers who are already certified to teach another subject within the state of New Jersey and are seeking to expand their skill sets by earning certification in a STEM subject. In 2010, CTL began offering a similar program for teachers seeking a chemistry endorsement. Both endorsement programs require teachers to take over 300 hours of instruction, as well as complete a year-long field assignment teaching physics (or chemistry),” the report from Hanover Research says.

The new report found that when compared to students who have traditionally majored in STEM, CTL students pass the Praxis teacher assessment tests at a comparable rate.

This could mean that programs such at CTL that educate existing teachers could be more useful than encouraging STEM majors from pursuing teaching.

See more about the research here. 


Teachers & Parents Equally Influence Teens’ Interest in STEM

85 percent of teens surveyed by the Amgen Foundation in partnership with Change the Equation said that teachers influence their decisions to pursue STEM careers, just one percentage point less than those who said their parents do, too.

The survey asked the opinions of 1,659 U.S. teens between the ages of 14 to 18 to reveal further about the current teenage perception of STEM studies.

Another interesting finding to come from the survey is that hands-on learning is most likely to engage students in science.

"Two-way, hands-on learning, like experiments and field trips, are most likely to engage students in biology, followed by tools that help them relate biology to real life. Methods such as class discussions or teaching straight from the book are least interesting, but among the most common,” said the Amgen Foundation in a statement.

More discouraging findings from the survey include that only 32 percent of students know an adult in a science-based career, meaning many students lack a solid mentor in science.

Equally disheartening is the fact that low-income students have significantly fewer pathways to science careers available to them.

Low-income students "are less likely to know someone who works in biology (19 percent versus 25 percent of higher-income students) and not as likely to have access to career-planning resources.”

Read more about the survey here.


Australian Early Education Teachers Are Dodging Teaching STEM

In interesting news out of Australia, a task force found that many of the country’s teachers have chosen early education careers in-part to avoid teaching STEM.

The country has recently made teaching STEM to its students a priority, investing in many initiatives to prepare students better for a STEM-focused world.

Read more. 


The Algebra Debate: Integrated or Traditional Math… Or Both?

Should America’s high schools teach Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II in a traditional, separate sequence or in an integrated fashion as many schools now do?

Or, should they offer schools the option to pick?

The debate is current raging in North Carolina’s Senate as lawmakers debate a proposal to allow districts and schools to chose between the math curricula.

Take our survey to weigh-in.


Minecraft: Education Edition Now Available for Educator Download

If you’re an educator with some spare time, think about downloading a free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition.

Microsoft is seeking educator feedback to perfect the product before releasing it for school purchase in fall.

Find out how to download it here.


Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
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