comments from departmental colleagues. SME&T departments also could invite colleagues from the school of education to one of those meetings (and vice versa!) to focus on issues of teacher preparation and professional development in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. Graduate and postdoctoral students also could be invited. One or several presentations in the department's colloquium series during a semester or an academic year could be devoted to critical issues in SME&T teaching and learning.
What, ultimately, will change the predominant culture in institutions serving undergraduates? What will change the prevailing norms in undergraduate SME&T education and in the preparation of K-16 teachers of SME&T? We know much more now than we did even 10 years ago about how students learn (e.g., National Research Council, in press) and how to make good use of this knowledge in classrooms and laboratories (e.g., National Research Council, 1997a), if we choose to do so. Perhaps changes in practice will come from national and state efforts to provide standards for K12 science and mathematics education that stand to give us greater confidence in coming years that more students who enter college are more well prepared in the SME&T disciplines than ever before. Perhaps it will be our willingness to capitalize on this better preparation to provide undergraduate students with greater depth of understanding and appreciation of these subjects. Or to use information technology resources now available at previously unimaginable levels. Surely, change will occur when we take advantage of these resources—as individuals, departments, and institutions. Surely, it will occur when teaching and learning are viewed as worthwhile and important as other scholarly pursuits (Boyer, 1990).
The committee recognizes that implementing the visions of this report will require new funds or shifts in the allocation of existing resources from within postsecondary institutions. Depending on factors such as institutional governance and the progress that departments and institutions already have made in improving undergraduate SME&T education, costs may vary considerably from institution to institution. However, the evidence and information provided throughout the body of this report and the perspectives offered by participants at the regional symposia and topical forums (see Appendix A) suggest that change is both needed and, most likely, inevitable. The committee hopes that this report will stimulate serious discussions at all higher education institutions that also will take into account the need for new or reallocated resources to implement and support such change.