6

Final Observations

During the final session of the workshop, the participants engaged in a free-wheeling discussion of the important points they heard during the previous two days and steps to be taken next. Their individual observations and suggestions, which have been organized according to the four major sessions of the workshop, should not be taken as a consensus of the workshop participants as a whole or of the planning committee.

REVITALIZING K-12 SCIENCE AND MATH EDUCATION

•  A coherent vision of the knowledge and skills that education should provide to students can drive improvement.

•  Future generations will learn in different ways than have people in the past, which will require new and innovative approaches to education.

•  Metrics for educational achievement among students and teachers can guide educational improvement.

•  The informal STEM learning that occurs in such places as museums can have a powerful effect on both knowledge and attitudes.

•  An emphasis on results rather than just funding can increase the interest of industry in contributing to K-12 education.

•  Teachers need to be more adequately represented in discussions of education, perhaps through electronic connections from the schools where they are working.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 43
6 Final Observations D uring the final session of the workshop, the participants engaged in a free-wheeling discussion of the important points they heard during the previous two days and steps to be taken next. Their individual observations and suggestions, which have been organized ac- cording to the four major sessions of the workshop, should not be taken as a consensus of the workshop participants as a whole or of the planning committee. REVITALIZING K-12 SCIENCE AND MATH EDUCATION • A coherent vision of the knowledge and skills that education should provide to students can drive improvement. • Future generations will learn in different ways than have people in the past, which will require new and innovative approaches to education. • Metrics for educational achievement among students and teachers can guide educational improvement. • The informal STEM learning that occurs in such places as museums can have a powerful effect on both knowledge and attitudes. • An emphasis on results rather than just funding can increase the interest of industry in contributing to K-12 education. • Teachers need to be more adequately represented in discussions of education, perhaps through electronic connections from the schools where they are working. 43

OCR for page 43
44 RISING ABOVE THE GATHERING STORM • Giving teachers continuing education credits for learning how to apply for and manage grants could enable them to foster partner- ships with the private sector. • Teachers also need to spend time to learn through collaborative lesson planning and professional development. • The valley of death plagues education as well, because few organi- zations exist that can develop promising innovations to the point that they can make a sustainable difference in the classroom. STRENGTHENING UNDERGRADUATE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION • Revisions of undergraduate curricula across departments could produce a better alignment of undergraduate STEM education and workforce needs. • Different states and regions have different needs that could be re- flected in undergraduate STEM education. • Two-year colleges are a critically important component of the higher education system in the United States. • Recognition and support of students who are skilled at bringing others together and fostering achievement could produce major educational dividends. • If more people could experience science as a means of exploring the unknown, they would better understand the process of bringing discoveries to the market to create jobs and wealth. BUILDING EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS • Precompetitive cooperation in building production capacity can prepare the infrastructure needed for future production. • Representatives from industry, K-12 education, and higher educa- tion rarely meet together, yet, as demonstrated by the conference, such meetings can be highly productive. • Cooperation among academia, governments, and industry must be based on trust and on an appreciation of the value that each partner brings to the table. • Partnerships succeed when all members of the partnership believe it to be to their advantage to make the collaboration work. • Sharing information can build the trust necessary for collabora- tions to succeed. • The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), an initiative by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies to help build the research bases of jurisdic-

OCR for page 43
45 FINAL OBSERVATIONS tions that have historically received relatively low levels of federal research funding, provides a valuable model of collaboration to achieve shared goals. • Many barriers prevent faculty members from moving between academia and the private sector, despite the importance of such exchanges. • Cooperation among a group of states that share common interests can yield better outcomes than competition. FOSTERING REGIONAL TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP • Innovation applies not just to products but to new approaches to technology development and entrepreneurship, such as new financ- ing models. • Financing for early-stage prototypes can demonstrate the fea- sibility of a product so that private industry will invest in its commercialization. • A simple message is needed to convey the importance of science, innovation, and entrepreneurship to regional economies. • Legislators tend to respond more positively to suggested solutions to problems than they do to requests for funding. • Fellowship programs for scientists within state and local govern- ments can create a connection between science and policy that is often missing. Finally, Julie Underwood, the dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, observed that the conversation begun at the conference needs to be continuous, not a one-time event. “This conver- sation needs to go on and on.”

OCR for page 43