In the 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama called for Next Generation High Schools. Next Generation STEM schools seek to intensify Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) opportunities, especially for historically underrepresented students.
Such schools aim to strengthen STEM learning for all students who have a strong interest in STEM, regardless of their prior test scores. Responding to this call, education researchers gathered at a special event in Washington D.C. this fall to share and synthesize relevant concepts and findings from NSF-sponsored research projects. The STEM Forum featured over 80 presentations in 12 different sessions, attended by 250 educators, researchers, and policy makers.
Now the findings from the event have been released by EDC and SRI Education in a new report, “Next Generation STEM Learning for All: Envisioning Advances Based on NSF Supported Research.”
This report builds on the comprehensive capture and synthesis process SRI developed for the event, which involved deploying specially trained note-takers to every session at the Forum. On the basis of these notes, SRI and EDC prepared an “instant synthesis” that was shared at White House. This instant synthesis featured key findings from the event, such as the breaking research on the effectiveness of inclusive STEM schools and the key principles that enable such schools to develop STEM interest, knowledge, and skills among their students.
Now with additional time to reflect and synthesize the presentations, discussions, and notes from the event, EDC and SRI have released a comprehensive report.
The report articulates four key ideas:
- It lists specific research-based advances can significantly and positively impact the design and implementation of STEM learning experiences in Next Generation STEM Schools.
- It calls for engaging multiple stakeholder communities spanning education, research, policy and industry, bringing stakeholders together is vital to the success of STEM schools.
- Because Next Generation STEM schools often unite around a commitment to equitable access to high-quality STEM learning experiences for all learners and for their communities, a “social justice” theme is prominent in the work of building these schools.
- Finally, more attention is needed to defining strategies for achieving scale for STEM schools and ensuring their long-term sustainability.
Next Generation STEM Learning for All: Envisioning Advances Based on NSF Supported Research