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Professional Development & Materials - Monday, February 13, 2017

ASSET STEM Education recently assessed the national educational landscape for trends and opportunities to improve STEM teaching and learning. Here are 7 key takeaways from conversations with stakeholders and surveys of teachers and administrators across the country:

  1. STEM education should start early.
  2. STEM is more than science, technology, engineering and math.
  3. STEM is centered on inquiry-based teaching and learning.
  4. Educators need additional training and materials to support effective STEM instruction.
  5. STEM education improvement should be a structural, schoolwide or districtwide endeavor.
  6. Lack of STEM professional development—particularly around effective instructional approaches—is a major barrier to improvement.
  7. It takes considerable planning, effort and time to effectively incorporate STEM into schools and districts.

 How do we respond to these insights as a collective community of educators, administrators and stakeholders? Our experience tells us we must work together—strategically, intentionally and over time—to foster learning environments where…

  • teachers facilitate and guide student-driven investigations;
  • educators collaborate across grade levels and subjects;
  • administrators and teachers work together as a team to solve problems and ensure all students learn;
  • and the community supports what happens in the classroom.

 How do we get there? Utilizing lessons learned from countless experts, researchers and partners over two decades, we developed a three-phase model that supports schools/districts in catalyzing these disruptive shifts in “how teachers teach” and “how students learn.” The Inquiry-based Schools program fosters long-term culture change within school buildings and/or districtwide and across disciplines. The program builds leadership capacity among educators and administrators to implement effective professional learning communities (PLCs) that analyze student data and share instructional practices to ensure all students learn. Through the use of inquiry, schools/districts are empowered to accelerate collaborative leadership, instructional practice and student achievement.

Click here to learn more about the Inquiry-based Schools program, discover its proven results, explore case studies from participants, and inquire about becoming an Inquiry-based School.