New Research Points Way to Big Improvements in Science, Math Education
DALLAS, Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent research on how people learn to become experts can help to dramatically improve the effectiveness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, according to an article in the fall 2012 Issues in Science and Technology.
Nobel laureate Carl Wieman argues that despite the widespread recognition of the importance of STEM education and countless efforts aimed at improving it, there continues to be little discernible change in either student achievement or student interest in STEM.
"This is unfortunate," he writes, "because there is an extensive body of recent research on how learning is accomplished, with clear implications for what constitutes effective STEM teaching and how that differs from typical current teaching at the K-12 and college levels. Failure to understand this learning-focused perspective is also a root cause of the failures of many reform efforts."
The fall 2012 Issues also includes an article that reports on research that finds that test-based incentives have had only small effects, and in many cases no effect, on student learning. A National Research Council study committee examined evidence on the effectiveness of the full range of incentives programs, including those that sanction schools whose students do not perform well on standardized tests, those that award bonuses to teachers if their students' test scores climb, and those that target the incentives to students themselves by requiring them to pass an exit exam before receiving their diploma.
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