Global STEM Education Models
To understand what countries outside of the United States are doing to push students into STEM.
- In 2015, Australia created the National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026.
- The mission of the strategy is to: 1) Ensure all students finish school with strong foundational knowledge in STEM and related skills; and 2) Ensure that students are inspired to take on more challenging STEM subjects.
- In order to attain the goals, Australia has identified five key areas for strategic action.
- The first key area is increasing student ability in STEM through increased opportunities for engagement, participation, and aspiration. National priority actions include setting a minimum level of attainment that must be demonstrated before graduation and encouraging an uptake in STEM and advanced course load through university bonus point schemes. Jurisdictional actions include focusing on STEM from early education and encouraging an uptake in online learning materials to support student problem solving skills.
- The second key area is increasing the quality of teaching in STEM. National priority actions include developing online modules to help teachers learn best practices in STEM teaching and develop a STEM professional learning exchange with Universities and industry to help boost teacher confidence in teaching STEM material.
- The third key area is to support STEM education opportunities within the school system. This will be done through more effective curriculum, better assesment resources, and initiatives such as virtual classrooms and early access to university courses.
- The fourth key area is facilitating effective partnerships between schools, universities, and industry. The national STEM Partnership Forum will help develop and guide partnerships for mentoring, outreach, career advice, and work placement opportunities.
- The fifth key area is establishing a stronger data and evidence base to track trends and make changes as needed through STEM intervention in order to improve outcomes.
- In addition, Australia has invested $AUD 6 million in ELSA, a play-based STEM learning program for early education, as well as $AUD 4 million in Little Scientists, a STEM professional development program for early childhood educators.
- The New Zealand STEM initiative is called Curious Minds. The main goal of the initiative is to "encourage and support all New Zealanders to engage with science and technology." The strategy includes three action areas.
- The first action area is enhancing the role of education, including ensuring quality teaching, ensuring opportunity for learning, and enhancing competency and confidence. This action area begins during early-education and flows through the transition to higher education or employment.
- The second action area engaging communities in science and technology. This action involves creating a STEM culture in the communities through positive media coverage, engaging harder to reach groups such as females and minorities, and developing participatory science platforms that encourage community involvement.
- The third action area is to partner with the scientific community to encourage students to participate in scientist initiated research. A big focus of this action area is to highlight Māori and minority scientists in order to increase their profile.
- In 2018, New Zealand launched the Ambassador Programme. Ambassadors come from government-funded Curious Mind projects. These ambassadors share their stories, provide mentorship, and peer support.
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