STEM Trends for 2020 Target Diversity, Rural Teachers and PD
- By Dian Schaffhauser
nonprofit pursuing the goal of helping prepare 100,000 teachers to
teach STEM subjects in American classrooms by 2021 recently issued a
report on 10
trends for 2020,
placing diversity challenges at the top of the list. 100Kin10,
which links academic institutions, nonprofits, foundations, companies
and government agencies to address the nation’s STEM teacher
shortage, said that to draw under-represented minorities into the
science, technology, engineering and math fields would require
recruiting and supporting more teachers of color.
the report noted, while half of students are people of color, less
than 20 percent of teachers are. Among the movements forward is a
undertaken by California's Trellis
and a bunch of institutional and nonprofit partners, to examine what
holds teachers of color back from succeeding and creating a toolkit
to be used by schools to support "culturally responsive changes
in their environments."
trend: the integration of more professional development for teachers
into the school schedule. Among the ideas being tested around the
country are early student release days, collaborations during student
lunch and the use of a year-round calendar that provides a three-week
break period for teacher PD and vacation. A project
led by STEMteachersNYC
and the University
of North Carolina System
will develop a resource documenting "innovative scheduling
options for job-embedded professional learning."
for STEM teachers in rural areas is also an area of attention.
According to 100Kin10, several projects are underway to address the
needs of these educators. One is the National
Math and Science Initiative,
which has helped to develop a state-wide network in North Dakota "to
connect geographically and economically isolated communities,
including reservation schools" and bringing advanced placement
courses in STEM subjects to students.
complete trends report is openly available on
the 100Kin10 website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.