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|One Year after Science's Grand Challenges in Education:
Professional Empowerment of STEM Teachers Through Education Policy and Decision Making
June 5-6, 2014
National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave., NW
A planning committee under the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council organized a two-day convocation focused on empowering teachers to play greater leadership roles in education policy- and decision making in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) education at the national, state, and local levels. Several papers published in the April 2013 special "Grand Challenges in Education" issue of Science magazine have direct relevance for teachers and served as foci for the discussions along with or more additional background papers to synthesize the existing evidence base on the roles and current engagement of teachers in policy and decision making in STEM education.
Through a series of plenary and breakout sessions, the convocation addressed whether and how involving teachers of STEM in education policy- and decision making can lead to improvements that affect teachers and teaching in STEM. Teachers had prominent roles in all aspects of the event, serving as discussion leaders, session moderators, and participants on panels. The following issues were at the center of discussions at this event:
Following the convocation, a workshop report summarizing the presentations and discussion at the convocation will be published by the National Academies Press in Winter 2014/2015.
- What is the evidence base (both from the U.S. and from other countries) that addresses whether involving teachers of K-12 STEM in education policy and decision making can lead to improvements in policies that affect teachers and teaching?
- What models of engaging teachers in policy and decision making at the national, state, and local levels currently exist, especially as they pertain to STEM education? What can be learned from current efforts to expand the roles of teachers in these processes?
- What kinds of communication efforts, resources, and other activities are needed to help education officials and policymakers understand the roles, contributions, and potential impact of teachers of STEM in these processes?
This activity is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Jay B. Labov, Senior Advisor for Education and Communication, National Research Council, 202-334-1458
Mary Ann Kasper, Senior Program Assistant, 202-334-1816