PROJECT NEEDS

Since the early 1980's there has been broad agreement that the U.S. must improve the science and mathematics education its school children receive (NCCE, 1983). Reports emphasize giving students the opportunity to think like scientists (NCTM, 1991; NRC, 1996; AAAS, 1989, 1993). They stress the importance of creating an environment in which students are engaged in long-term investigations and cognitive problem solving. Ultimately this improvement can happen only if teachers have a better knowledge of the content and pedagogy of these fields. Much effort has been focused on strengthening the qualifications of teachers now in the schools, and in helping them to adopt new and more effective teaching approaches. In Massachusetts, the Education Reform Act of 1993 legislated a comprehensive program that significantly increased financial support to the schools, required the development of curriculum frameworks consistent with the national recommendations, and mandated periodic recertification of teachers (Massachusetts Department of Education, 1995). It is the responsibility of the higher education community to reinvent their teacher preparation programs so that teachers entering the profession have the requisite science and mathematics preparation (Glass, Aiuto, and Anderson, 1993).

Four specific areas of need will be addressed by STEMTEC:

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Created June 2000
Author: STEMTEC Webmaster