National Reports on STEM Education: What Are the Implications for K-12?

In: STEM Education 2.0
Author: Sarah Bush

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While the acronym STEM has been around since the 1990s, STEM education was thrust into the spotlight in the early 2000s, with many reports that pre-dated it. Since then, there have been multitudes of national reports calling attention to the importance of STEM education and recommendations. This chapter will converge and highlight findings and recommendations across reports and consider implications for K-12 education. Specifically, this chapter identifies recent K-12 STEM reports in the United States that focus on integrated STEM which include recommendations to the field. A table of these reports and their key recommendations are presented. Four categories emerged from a synthesis of the key recommendations across national STEM reports: (1) K-12 STEM education curriculum, standards, programs, and literacy; (2) Increase number of students pursuing STEM majors and careers, with a focus on underrepresented populations; (3) Recruitment, retention, recognition, preparation, and professional development of STEM teachers; and (4) STEM education funding and research. After a discussion of these four categories, the author identifies limitations and considers implications for K-12 education. Directions for future research with suggested research questions are presented followed by concluding remarks.

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