STEM Education in Washington State: The Facts of the Matter is a summary of the
The Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS) 2011 annual symposium. The report is another possible addition to our STEM resources toolbox and I would like to highlight the summaries of presentations by:
1. Dr. Tamara Homlund Nelson who discusses the importance of teaching science for understanding. Here is an excerpt:
She explained that, while “teach for understanding” seems obvious, all too often the focus is on teaching to prepare students to pass a test or for the next course. In science education specifically, research shows that students’ ideas about natural phenomena tend to be resistant to change, that learning in one class does not transfer well to other content areas or contexts outside the classroom, and that learning too often consists of disconnected bits of information rather than an understanding of how these pieces fit together as a conceptual whole.
2. Dr. George D. “Pinky” Nelson who discusses effective teaching. He highlights the following aspects of effective teaching:
A shared belief that all students can learn—no excuses for not learning;
Knowledge of research;
Deep knowledge of content;
Knowledge and skills to teach specific content;
Practical knowledge and skills;
Collaborative knowledge and skills;
Experience and a mentoring plan;
Clear learning goals;
Excellent, balanced curricula and assessments;
High expectations by and support of leaders;
Coherent community support; and
Low noise, meaning initiatives are coordinated
Lots of other good information here as well. I can imagine using parts of these during professional development or during opportunities to make the case or advocate for STEM education.
You can see all of the presentation materials and videos from the 2011 WSAS Symposium HERE.