STEM and the City

A Report on STEM Education in the Great American Urban Public School System

Clair T. Berube

Published 2014

The future of American STEM education is every state, there are thousands students that would benefit from science education, if only they had the resources, support systems and psychological ownership. There are brilliant young minds that could be called on to solve a myriad of world problems, earning money and respect in the process. But these students don’t see science as a viable option for a life. Or they do but there are no textbooks in the classroom, or the teacher is the fifth one this semester...and he is on the verge of leaving too.

If STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers are the future driving force of the American economy; and if only an anointed few American students choose STEM as a career path, where will that leave us as a nation as we strive to compete on the global stage? Will America maintain its position as leader of the free world? Can a country that shuns the word “elite” ever maintain its elite status? Everything we value depends on this; our national security, reputation, and quality of life all depend on our ability to meet the needs of future generations of American workers as they compete for jobs. Jobs that will require problem solving skills, innovation, creativity, scientific literacy, and mathematical knowledge. Jobs that will require Americans who are tops in their fields with expertise, intellectual curiosity, ambition and vision. This book seeks to address these problems, as well as providing an historical backdrop for the discussion of STEM in American schools, race and gender issues, the effects of the standards movement on STEM, and what good teaching looks like in urban public schools. The future is here. Will we rise to the occasion?

Preface. Introduction. 1. The History Of Stem In American Public Schools. 2. American Anti-Intellectualism, Religion and the Science. Classroom: War of the Worlds. 3. Urban High-Needs Schools With Sueanne McKinney. 4. Gender Bias in STEM Education. 5. The Effects of No Child Left Behind and High-Stakes Testing on STEM Education. 6. What Effective STEM Teaching Looks Like. 7. Conclusion: The Future of American Stem Education. Appendix: Notes concerning the teaching of physics to elementary/secondary students. References. Biographies.