Tag Archives: STEM

Perspectives on Higher Education for the New Academic Year

21st century careers require highly skilled workers with strong technical knowledge as well as the ability to solve problems, think creatively, work collaboratively and function as lifelong learners. Recent National Academies studies dive into some of today’s most urgent higher education issues. We asked the Study Directors of each of the publications featured below to highlight actionable recommendations for universities and other stakeholders.

 

“The number of bachelor’s degrees awarded nationally in computer and information science and support services has surged in recent years, increasing by 74 percent between 2009 and 2015, compared to a 16 percent increase in bachelor’s degrees overall. At the same time, interest in computer science courses among majors and non-majors alike has also grown, reflecting the increasing importance of CS skills across disciplines and occupational fields, and in daily life. This report explores the drivers of and potential strategies for responding to this increased demand, noting that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Academic institutions should respond with urgency to the current demand while planning for the future role of CS institution-wide, taking deliberate actions to support diversity in their programs.” — Emily Grumbling, Study Officer

Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments

The field of computer science (CS) is currently experiencing a surge in undergraduate degree production and course enrollments, which is straining program resources at many institutions and causing concern among faculty and administrators about how best to respond to the rapidly growing demand. …

[more]

 

“The U.S. system of graduate education for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has long served as an international gold standard by preparing researchers to advance the frontiers of discovery. Given major global challenges such as the rapid innovations in the conduct of research, the role of STEM in the workforce and the economy, and the increasingly diverse backgrounds of students seeking advances degrees, how prepared is the system of graduate education to respond to these changes? The report Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century calls for cultural change in academic research, which requires adjusting the incentive systems driven in large part by federal and state funding agencies. The incentives often lack alignment with the ideal, student-centric vision of graduate education called for by the committee, which includes support for diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environments; a system that provides training for mentors and advisors; time and resources for broad career exploration; and increased mental health services. The committee addressed these critical issues, as well as drawing attention to the need for increased data collection in and research on graduate STEM education programs, and provided a series of recommendations to ensure that all stakeholders in the system understand their role in driving change.” — Layne Scherer, Study Officer

Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century

The U.S. system of graduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has served the nation and its science and engineering enterprise extremely well. Over the course of their education, graduate students become involved in advancing the frontiers of discovery, as …

[more]

 

“The ‘Branches from the Same Tree’ study explored the impact on students of educational approaches that integrate the humanities and arts with science, engineering, and medicine in higher education. The title of the study is based on a quote from Albert Einstein in which he describes the unity of human knowledge, stating ‘all religions, arts, and sciences are branches from the same tree.’ The study committee found that integrative educational approaches are associated with positive student learning outcomes, including increased critical thinking abilities, higher-order thinking and deeper learning, content mastery, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills, improved visuospatial reasoning, and general engagement and enjoyment of learning. The committee found an incredible groundswell of enthusiasm for integrative educational approaches and catalogued over 200 interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary programs and courses at a diverse array of colleges and universities.” — Ashley Bear, Study Officer

The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree

In the United States, broad study in an array of different disciplines —arts, humanities, science, mathematics, engineering— as well as an in-depth study within a special area of interest, have been defining characteristics of a higher education. But over time, in-depth study in a major …

[more]

 

“There is a growing concern that the biomedical research enterprise, for all of its many strengths, is beset by several core challenges that undercut its vitality, promise, and productivity and that could diminish its critical role in the nation’s health and innovation in the biomedical industry. This is not a new problem – in fact, reports addressing vulnerabilities in the biomedical research workforce have been issued over the last two decades. The committee for the Next Generation Researchers Initiative investigated conclusions from these earlier reports and identified several impediments to progress over the years. A key impediment has been an absence of shared responsibility for the biomedical research system. Many stakeholders in the system tend to hold the federal government responsible for this system, placing blame for failures at the feet of NIH, the principal funder of biomedical research. Doing so, however, obscures the important role that other organizations, particularly universities, must play in developing and implementing solutions. The committee therefore offered several recommendations specifically for universities, as well as a mechanism for shared oversight of the system.” — Lida Beninson, Study Officer

The Next Generation of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences Researchers: Breaking Through

Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has developed the world’s preeminent system for biomedical research, one that has given rise to revolutionary medical advances as well as a dynamic and innovative business sector generating high-quality jobs and powering economic output …

[more]

 

“More than 50% of female faculty and staff in higher education and between 20-50% of female students have experienced sexual harassment. Even when the sexual harassment consists of sexist insults or crude behavior, without any unwanted sexual attention or sexual coercion, it can undermine women’s professional and educational attainment and mental and physical health. To stop the pattern of harassing behavior from impacting the next generation of women, a change to the culture and climate in colleges and universities is needed. This report reviews the research on sexual harassment in academia and details how system-wide changes in higher education can be implemented to prevent and address sexual harassment in education and research settings.” — Frazier Benya, Study Officer

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Over the last few decades, research, activity, and funding has been devoted to improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. In recent years the diversity of those participating in these fields, particularly the participation …

[more]

Supporting Women in STEM

Released on Tuesday, Sexual Harassment of Women focuses on one of many roadblocks to the recruitment, retention, and promotion of women in academia. The reports listed below explore these issues and offer recommendations to better support women in these roles.

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Over the last few decades, research, activity, and funding has been devoted to improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. In recent years the diversity of those participating in these fields, particularly the participation …

[more]

Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively pursue the innovative capacity of all its …

[more]

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia is the summary of a 2013 conference convened by the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Research Council to discuss the current status of women of color in academia …

[more]

Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty

Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty presents new and surprising findings about career differences between female and male full-time, tenure-track, and tenured faculty in science, engineering, and mathematics at the …

[more]

To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering

Although more women than men participate in higher education in the United States, the same is not true when it comes to pursuing careers in science and engineering. To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering identifies and discusses better practices for …

[more]

Career Choices of Female Engineers: A Summary of a Workshop

Despite decades of government, university, and employer efforts to close the gender gap in engineering, women make up only 11 percent of practicing engineers in the United States. What factors influence women graduates’ decisions to enter the engineering workforce and either to stay in or leave …

[more]

Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context: Summary of a Workshop

The scientific work of women is often viewed through a national or regional lens, but given the growing worldwide connectivity of most, if not all, scientific disciplines, there needs to be recognition of how different social, political, and economic mechanisms impact women’s participation in …

[more]

Who Will Do the Science of the Future?: A Symposium on Careers of Women in Science

Who Will Do the Science of the Future? is the summary of a symposium on careers of women in science. The symposium incorporated three panels of presenters: one focusing on the next generation, Science for All Students; a second that looks in depth at the issues reflected in one particular field of …

[more]

Women in the Chemical Workforce: A Workshop Report to the Chemical Sciences Roundtable

For a period of history no women worked outside the home. Bust as years have gone by and society has changed, Women are working varying jobs every day. They are, however, underrepresented in some sectors of jobs. This includes women in the engineering and science fields. To matters worse, women …

[more]

Science Debate 2012: Education

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Education:

Increasingly, the global economy is driven by science, technology, engineering and math, but a recent comparison of 15-year-olds in 65 countries found that average science scores among U.S. students ranked 23rd, while average U.S. math scores ranked 31st. In your view, why have American students fallen behind over the last three decades, and what role should the federal government play to better prepare students of all ages for the science and technology-driven global economy?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

 

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

Download Free PDF

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas400 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position in the global economy is declining, in part because U.S…. [more]
Successful K-12 STEM Education

Download Free PDF

Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics44 pages | Paperback | Price: $11.65Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are cultural achievements that reflect our humanity, power our economy, and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, consumers, parents, and members of the workforce. Providing all… [more]
Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education

Download Free PDF

Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education230 pages | Paperback | Price: $42.30Higher education is a linchpin of the American economy and society. Teaching and research at colleges and universities contribute significantly to the nation’s economic activity, both directly and through their impact on future growth; federal and state… [more]
Research Universities and the Future of America

Download Free PDF

Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security227 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10Research Universities and the Future of America presents critically important strategies for ensuring that our nation’s research universities contribute strongly to America’s prosperity, security, and national goals. Widely considered the best… [more]
Fueling Innovation and Discovery

Download Free PDF

Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century57 pages | Paperback | Price: $17.95The mathematical sciences are part of everyday life. Modern communication, transportation, science, engineering, technology, medicine, manufacturing, security, and finance all depend on the mathematical sciences. Fueling Innovation and Discovery[more]

What Makes a Good School Good? Resources to Promote Quality Education

We all want our kids to attend the best schools, with great teachers who engage students, teach them well, and inspire them to do their best. The recent controversy about a “Parent Trigger” law, that permits parents to petition for control of low-performing schools, highlights concern for quality education. The National Research Council has a number of reports that discuss the science of learning, address issues of teacher development, and make evidence-based recommendations to improve educational experiences. The video resources listed below, together with our books, can inform debate, aid in decision-making, and help parents and education advocates obtain the best learning outcomes for children. All are free to download.

Videos

Books

How People Learn

Download Free PDF

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition384 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.45

This popular trade book, originally released in hardcover in the Spring of 1999, has been newly expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom… [more]

How People Learn

Download Free PDF

How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice88 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice provides a broad overview of research on learners and learning and on teachers and teaching. It expands on the 1999 National Research Council publication How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience,… [more]

How Students Learn

Download Free PDF

How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom632 pages | Hardcover | Price: $49.45

How do you get a fourth-grader excited about history? How do you even begin to persuade high school students that mathematical functions are relevant to their everyday lives? In this volume, practical questions that confront every classroom teacher are addressed… [more]

Preparing Teachers

Download Free PDF

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy234 pages | Paperback | Price: $39.60

Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers… [more]

The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China

Download Free PDF

The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop68 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

In 1999, Liping Ma published her book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in the United States and China, which probed the kinds of knowledge that elementary school teachers need to convey… [more]

Assessing Accomplished Teaching

Download Free PDF

Assessing Accomplished Teaching: Advanced-Level Certification Programs340 pages | Paperback | Price: $40.50

The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is to establish “high and rigorous standards for what teachers should know and be able to do, to certify teachers who meet those standards, and to advance other education reforms… [more]

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education

Download Free PDF

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education150 pages | Paperback | Price: $28.80

In recent years there have been increasing efforts to use accountability systems based on large-scale tests of students as a mechanism for improving student achievement. The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a prominent example of such an effort, but… [more]

Knowing What Students Know

Download Free PDF

Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment382 pages | Hardcover | Price: $44.95

Education is a hot topic. From the stage of presidential debates to tonight’s dinner table, it is an issue that most Americans are deeply concerned about. While there are many strategies for improving the educational process, we need a way to find out what works… [more]

Systems for State Science Assessment

Download Free PDF

Systems for State Science Assessment248 pages | Hardcover | Price: $40.45

In response to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Systems for State Science Assessment explores the ideas and tools that are needed to assess science learning at the state level. This book provides a detailed examination of K-12 science… [more]

Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8

Download Free PDF

Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8: Building a Village in California: Summary of a Convocation154 pages | Paperback | Price: $33.07

K-8 science education in California (as in many other parts of the country) is in a state of crisis. K-8 students in California spend too little time studying science, many of their teachers are not well prepared in the subject, and the support system for… [more]

Learning and Instruction

Download Free PDF

Learning and Instruction: A SERP Research Agenda176 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95

The Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) is a bold, ambitious plan that proposes a revolutionary program of education research and development. Its purpose is to construct a powerful knowledge base, derived from both research and practice, that… [more]

Starting Out Right

Download Free PDF

Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success192 pages | Paperback | Price: $13.45

A devastatingly large number of people in America cannot read as well as they need for success in life. With literacy problems plaguing as many as four in ten children in America, this book discusses how best to help children succeed in reading. This book… [more]

Helping Children Learn Mathematics

Download Free PDF

Helping Children Learn Mathematics52 pages | Paperback | Price: $9.00

Results from national and international assessments indicate that school children in the United States are not learning mathematics well enough. Many students cannot correctly apply computational algorithms to solve problems. Their understanding and use of… [more]

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood

Download Free PDF

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity398 pages | Hardcover | Price: $49.45

Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children’s present and future educational success. Research demonstrates that virtually all young children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics. Furthermore, young… [more]

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

Download Free PDF

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas400 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95

Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position… [more]

Engaging Schools

Download Free PDF

Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students’ Motivation to Learn304 pages | Hardcover | Price: $40.45

When it comes to motivating people to learn, disadvantaged urban adolescents are usually perceived as a hard sell. Yet, in a recent MetLife survey, 89 percent of the low-income students claimed “I really want to learn” applied to them.

What is it about… [more]

Successful K-12 STEM Education

Download Free PDF

Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics44 pages | Paperback | Price: $8.95

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are cultural achievements that reflect our humanity, power our economy, and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, consumers, parents, and members of the workforce. Providing all… [more]

Successful STEM Education

Download Free PDF

Successful STEM Education: A Workshop Summary100 pages | Paperback | Price: $26.10

What students learn about the science disciplines, technology, engineering, and mathematics during their K-12 schooling shapes their intellectual development, opportunities for future study and work, and choices of career, as well as their capacity to make… [more]

Diversity in Higher Education: Strengthening the Science, Technology, and Engineering Workforce

For the United States to maintain global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology we must grow a strong, talented, and innovative science and technology workforce. To achieve this goal, the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine have published reports that focus on ensuring that we draw on the minds and talents of all Americans, including women and racial/ethnic minorities who are underrepresented in science and engineering. These reports explore diversity in higher education and make recommendations to increase the number of women and underrepresented minority scientists and engineers. All of these titles are free to download for personal use.

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation
Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads

In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and…
Details

Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty

Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty presents new and surprising findings about career differences between female and male full-time, tenure-track, and tenured faculty in science,…
Details

Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers
Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers: Summary of a Workshop

Details

Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success for Women in Academic Science and Engineering
Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success for Women in Academic Science and Engineering: Workshop Report

During the last 40 years, the number of women studying science and engineering (S&E) has increased dramatically. Nevertheless, women do not hold academic faculty positions in numbers that commensurate with their increasing share of the S&E talent pool. The…
Details

Beyond Bias and Barriers
Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively pursue the…
Details

Opportunities to Address Clinical Research Workforce Diversity Needs for 2010
Opportunities to Address Clinical Research Workforce Diversity Needs for 2010

Based on a 2003 workshop, this study describes current public and private programs and recommends ways to recruit and retain more women and underrepresented minorities into clinical research, especially physician-scientists and nurses. Federal sponsors should…
Details

To Recruit and Advance
To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering

Although more women than men participate in higher education in the
United States, the same is not true when it comes to pursuing careers in science
and engineering. To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in
Science and Engineering identifies and…
Details