The leaders role in STEM education

I posted this response to a blog article “How to reverse the declining trends in STEM participation” and thought I’d share it here too.

Some interesting perspectives from each and every one of the contributors to this blog and thank you for taking the initiative to ask them too! But I’d like to add something to the mix in terms of a way forward.

Yes, you can equally prioritise or emphasise different elements of S.T.E.M. at different times to suit the context and demands.

Yes, we can make STEM pathways more exciting by raising the profile or tackling emerging issues for the next century.

Yes, we can update the new curriculum to give to schools, we can improve the quality of STEM educators coming through the system by making it a more appealing pathway, we can buy new and amazing resources for schools so they can play with the latest tech, we can even have a multi-pronged approach that does all this and more!

But unless we develop the leadership capacity in schools to better understand the opportunities in STEM education, to appreciate the complex nuances of the interdisciplinary nature of the field and weave together the critical threads, then hotspots of innovation will continue to thrive but a systemic approach to re-image STEM education will not eventuate. Getting leaders to recognise that a quality STEM educational experience isn’t just about sharing our passion of the field with students rather it is about building the student’s relationship with STEM and developing their ability to learn and thrive in a 21C paradigm.

How do you think we should be addressing the declining trends in STEM education?

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Gambling the future to save a buck today

So I was listening to Environment Minister Greg Hunt on RN Drive this afternoon, an interesting discussion with Patricia Karvelas, talking about the suggestion that Australia will propose a Paris emissions target of between 15-25% (listen here). Interesting the proportion of time spent talking economics rather than environmental matters.

What worries me I suppose is simply that there seems to persist in the rhetoric an undercurrent of economic rationalization about exactly how much should be done to reduce climate change. Yes, ok I get it. I don’t want to pay more for electricity, or water, or gas or any other goods or services! I doubt anyone is going to stand up and say otherwise, that’s what the government should be doing! Make the tough call, take a firm stance, don’t placate the masses to win another vote by pushing the economic agenda!

If you haven’t seen this guys little video clip before then I recommend checking it out and having a think… Is it really worth gambling the future to save a buck today?