A Conference on Progress and Factors that Contribute to Closing the STEM Achievement Gap

The objectives of this proposed conference are to: (1) review current research on the achievement gap in mathematics and science with a focus on school-related variables that adversely affect outcomes from low-income and minority students; (2) discuss teacher quality and effective teaching in STEM; (3) identify effective strategies and models that promote equity in education and close the STEM achievement gap; and (4) build collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships for addressing the U.S. achievement gap in STEM.

Award Number: 
1406282
Funding Period: 
Monday, September 1, 2014 to Monday, August 31, 2015
Full Description: 

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) will host a conference with a special focus on closing the achievement gap through the preparation of effective science and mathematics educators and collaborative interdisciplinary partnerships. The book "Closing the Achievement Gap from an International Perspective: Transforming STEM for an Effective Education" will be used to highlight innovative interventions other countries have implemented to address the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) achievement gap. Co-authors of the book will be invited to participate in the conference along with scientists, teacher educators, and policy makers to discuss effective strategies for closing the STEM achievement gap. The strategies will inform the future direction of educator preparation in developing effective science and mathematics educators and improving PK-12 STEM education. The objectives of this proposed conference are to: (1) review current research on the achievement gap in mathematics and science with a focus on school-related variables that adversely affect outcomes from low-income and minority students; (2) discuss teacher quality and effective teaching in STEM; (3) identify effective strategies and models that promote equity in education and close the STEM achievement gap; and (4) build collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships for addressing the U.S. achievement gap in STEM.

Conference participants will identify social and cultural barriers that contribute to persistent education inequities and achievement gaps in STEM and discuss effective education policies and innovative initiatives that select countries have applied to promote progress in narrowing STEM achievement gaps. During the conference, a panel discussion will take a systematic view of the subject, beginning with a cross-national analysis of teacher qualifications and the achievement gap that spans 50 countries with special interest in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Turkey, China, Japan, Brazil, Singapore, Korea, South Africa, and Australia. Through an examination of international models of system-changing initiatives that promote gains in STEM achievement for minority and low-income populations, conference panelists will explore lessons learned and effective strategies from other countries that are potentially transferable to the American education system.

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