Monday, July 11, 2016
Reforming STEM Education
Diversity leads to better decision outcomes, enhanced task performance, and greater innovation and creativity. The pervasiveness of unconscious bias and stereotyping having to do with gender and ethnic composition of our technical talent limits the possibility of technological innovation around the world (Klawe, Whitney, & Simard, 2009, p. 69).
Drew (2011) does describe various examples of how mentor teachers with high expectations have closed the achievement gap at a variety of institutions. For example, the calculus workshop programs at California State Polytechnic Institute, which was inspired and patterned after Uri Treisman’s 1985 doctoral dissertation research on the “efficacy of individualized tutoring, self-paced instruction, and short course aimed at the development of study skills” (Drew, 2011, p. 113) with students at the University of California, Berkeley. This case study, as well as other examples from The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) in Louisiana and Texas, illustrate his point on the importance of mentoring students of color and creating a supportive peer culture in closing the STEM achievement gap. In order to ensure more equitable access to STEM curriculum, it is important to note current research on STEM perspectives and frameworks.