Report: Interest in STEM Careers Sparked by Student-Directed Learning, Supported by Technology

Nearly one-third of high school students who experience math and science classrooms where instruction is led by teachers, learning is directed by students and technology is used to support both, express a strong interest in a STEM career, according to the latest findings from the 2011 Speak Up survey. Nationally, just nine percent of students described their most recent math or science class this way.

Only 20 percent of students in traditional classrooms, where the instruction is teacher directed and the use of technology is limited, expressed the same interest in STEM careers.

When asked to describe their most recent math or science class, the majority of middle and high school students chose one of these three classroom paradigms:

  • Traditional class with teacher-directed instruction – lectures, textbook assignments, group projects and labs (43 percent)
  • Traditional class with teacher-directed instruction as in #1, but with some technology used to support instruction (33 percent)
  • Traditional class with a mix of teacher-directed instruction and student-directed learning and the use of technology tools to support both teachers and students (9 percent).

These findings can be found in a Speak Up 2011 report, Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey – K-12 Students and Parents Connects the Dots with Digital Learning. To read the report and more, visit http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/speakup_reports.html.

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