Ed News: The Prevalence of Collaboration Among American Teachers

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This week in education news, new survey finds half of parents are not “very confident” in their ability to help their children with science; U.S. News STEM Solutions partners with USA Science & Engineering Festival; Pearson is selling off its U.S. print and digital curriculum business to focus on assessments and virtual schools; new research suggests that increasing access to STEM courses in high school may be no cure-all for producing more college students who take STEM classes or major in STEM fields; the New Teacher Center released the 2018 Teacher Induction Program Standards; a new study by 3M reveals that science is underappreciated; and a new report finds that the gender gap in STEM education is still prevalent.

Half of Parents Not ‘Very Confident’ They Can Support Children’s Science Learning

Only about half of parents are “very confident” in their ability to help their children with science, according to a new survey. Compare that with the 7 out of 10 parents who feel they can help their children develop reading and writing, math, and social-emotional skills. Not surprisingly, parents with lower levels of education felt less confident about their ability to help their children with science concepts at home than did parents with higher levels of educational attainment. Read the article featured in Education Week.

The Prevalence Of Collaboration Among American Teachers

Teacher collaboration is an important component of long-term career development for educators across the United States. For example, collaborative activities (such as peer observation and co-planning meetings) can provide opportunities for teachers to engage in informal mentoring with more-experienced and more-effective colleagues, experiment with new instructional approaches, and co-construct understandings of policies and practices — which, in turn, can shape their teaching practice. However, many factors impede support of teacher collaboration. Read more about the study conducted by the RAND Corporation.

U.S. News STEM Solutions Partners with USA Science & Engineering Festival to Host “Workforce of Tomorrow” Conference

U.S. News STEM Solutions is joining with the 5th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo, presented by Lockheed Martin, to host its Workforce of Tomorrow National Conference April 4-6, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The co-located Festival and Conference will bring together educators, scientists, performers, business and government leaders — as well as children and families — to create an inspiring and exciting week of events to advance STEM education and careers in America. Read more about the partnership and conference.

Educators Carefully Watch Pearson As It Moves To Sell Curriculum Business

Millions of U.S. students use Pearson’s curriculum products in their classrooms, but soon those print and digital resources will no longer fall under the education publishing giant’s business umbrella. The London-based company announced recently it will sell off its U.S. print and digital curriculum business to focus on assessments and virtual schools, leaving educators wondering what that means for day-to-day instruction. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Many Preschool Teachers Are Scared Of Teaching STEM. Here’s A Solution That Might Help

Everyone knows that 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds ask a lot of questions. But that unrestrained curiosity can unsettle preschool teachers who feel they lack sufficient understanding of science, technology, engineering and math, often referred to as STEM. Hari Sreenivasan reports from Chicago on efforts to boost science learning among some of the youngest students by boosting teacher confidence. Watch the segment featured on PBS Newshour.

High Schools Are Adding More STEM Classes. It May Not Be Enough

For more than a decade, politicians have raised concerns that not enough U.S. students are specializing in STEM subjects, leaving the country reliant on talent from overseas to fill engineering and tech jobs. All of that has led to a tremendous amount of attention on the “STEM pipeline” and how to improve it. Now, new research suggests that one of the popular policy solutions—increasing access to STEM courses in high school—may be no panacea for producing more college students who take STEM classes or major in STEM fields, raising big questions about what needs to change in K-12 to improve outcomes in the field. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Standards For Teacher Induction Programs Released

The New Teacher Center (NTC) released 2018 Teacher Induction Program Standards to provide school leaders with a framework for supporting new teachers during their first two to three years in the classroom. The standards state that “well-qualified, carefully selected, extensively trained” mentors are just as necessary for a new teacher’s success as an effective teacher is for the success of students. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

Gender Gap In STEM Education Continues Despite Appeal Of High Wage Careers, Strong Job Growth Rate

STEM careers are equally appealing to female and male students, but the achievement gap between the two groups continues, with females again trailing males in terms of readiness for college STEM coursework, according to ACT’s newly released report, STEM Education in the U.S.: Where We Are and What We Can Do. Read ACT’s press release.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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