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?