4. Earlier STEM to advance equity
Evidence consistently demonstrates that early exposure to STEM education contributes to student success in high school, in college, and throughout life. What’s more, early science and math education in particular have been shown to predict socioeconomic status well into adulthood. In 2018, 100Kin10 observed more educators and experts responding to that evidence with a wide range of initiatives supporting early STEM, many of which focused on equity. These initiatives come in the form of science and museum partnerships, elementary teacher prep, and more.
5. STEM is engineering the future workforce
STEM jobs are linked to higher income, both among college graduates and for those with a high school diploma. With the cost of college continuing to skyrocket, and uncertainty around the future of work increasing, STEM jobs are increasingly seen as the most sensible careers for students to pursue. As a result, PK–12 learning is becoming more intertwined with the practical side of STEM, including an alliance between schools and the workforce.
Predictions for 2019:
6. PK-12 STEM is rediscovering joy, curiosity, and experimentation
Recently 100Kin10 partners and educators have observed the early signs of a movement to refocus the classroom around joy and experimentation. Teacher Forum members say the most exciting STEM learning is happening outdoors because it taps into kids’ natural curiosity. Partners such as zoos and botanical gardens are developing STEM tools and curricula to engage students in a wide variety of topics. 100Kin10 predicts a move from accountability systems that encourage rote memorization to those that promote teacher creativity.
7. STEM as social-emotional learning
10 awesome #STEMEd trends and predictions for 2019 #edtech #STEMeducation
Educators and employers agree that students need soft skills and social-emotional competencies to be effective leaders and team members. In many districts, educators see a bigger push to understand and integrate social-emotional learning and brain science to better help students develop social skills that complement academics.
8. STEM leading the way toward student agency and personal relevance
Over the past decade, 100Kin10 has seen a growing trend toward personalized learning, pushed forward by ed-tech companies’ digital tools and platforms. However, there has been criticism that these tech-based solutions not only fail to reach all students, but also limit teachers from connecting personally with students, especially those from underrepresented and low-income communities. Building on research about the importance of relevance and agency for student learning and motivation, 100Kin10 partners are helping to pioneer an approach called personally-relevant pedagogy that the group predicts is a harbinger of things to come.
9. Teacher activism is up, interest in teaching is down, but change is coming
With teacher activism and political engagement on the rise, and solid data showing that teachers are happier than other STEM professionals, as well as a wave of teacher retirements that are going to put a fine point on the need to recruit more teachers, 100Kin10 predicts more teacher-focused activism that will improve the overall experience of teachers and the perception of the teaching profession in the coming year.
10. Designing schools where teachers and students thrive
100Kin10 partners have made great progress improving teacher work environments, and the group predicts this work will have a ripple effect across the system, prompting broader attention, energy, and activity focused on creating schools where teachers can thrive so students can thrive.