Improving Urban Schools

Equity and Access in K-16 STEM Education

Edited by:
Mary Margaret Capraro, Texas A&M University
Robert M. Capraro, Texas A&M University
Chance W. Lewis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Achievement. Editor(s): Chance W. Lewis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Published 2013

Although STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has been diversely defined by various researchers (e.g. Buck Institute, 2003; Capraro & Slough, 2009; Scott, 2009; Wolf, 2008), during the last decade, STEM education has gained an increasing presence on the national agenda through initiatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES). The rate of technological innovation and change has been tremendous over the past ten years, and this rapid increase will only continue. STEM literacy is the power to “identify, apply, and integrate concepts from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to understand complex problems and to innovate to solve them” (Washington State STEM, 2011, Internet). In order for U.S. students to be on the forefront of this revolution, ALL of our schools need to be part of the STEM vision and guide students in acquiring STEM literacy. Understanding and addressing the challenge of achieving STEM literacy for ALL students begins with an understanding of its element and the connections between them. In order to remain competitive, the Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy has recommended that the US optimize “its knowledge-based resources, particularly in science and technology” (National Academies, 2007, p. 4). Optimizing knowledge-based resources needs to be the goal but is also a challenge for ALL educators (Scheurich & Huggins, 2009). Regardless, there is little disagreement that contemporary society is increasingly dependent on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and thus comprehensive understandings are essential for those pursuing STEM careers. It is also generally agreed that PK-12 students do not do well in STEM areas, both in terms of national standards and in terms of international comparisons (Kuenzi, Matthews, & Mangan, 2006; Capraro, Capraro, Yetkiner, Corlu, Ozel, Ye, & Kim, 2011). The question then becomes what might PK-12 schools do to improve teachers’ and students’ STEM knowledge and skills? This book will look at equity and access issues in STEM education from PK-12, university, and administrative and policy lenses.

Foreword, Gerald A. Goldin. Introduction to STEM Equity, Robert M. Capraro. STEM Schools: Facilitating Student Engagement and College Readiness, M. Suzanne Franco and Nimisha H. Patel. The Private Sector, Building STEM Partnerships, and Moving Models Forward, Robert M. Capraro, Mary Margaret Capraro, and Michael Muzheve. Culturally Relevant Project-Based Learning for STEM Education: Implications and Examples for Urban Schools, Jamaal Young, Jemimah Young, and Christina Hamilton. Disrupting Inequity: How Policy Change Can Foster STEM Access for Underserved Students (K–12), Frances R. Spielhagen. Administrative Support of STEM Culture, Brian Boyd and Matthew Grushon. Racial and Linguistic Achievement Disparities: Mathematics Course-Taking in Urban School Contexts, Eduardo Mosqueda and Saúl I. Maldonado. Using Three-Dimensional Virtual Environments to Prepare STEM Teachers, Trina Davis. Using Just-in-Time PD to Technologically Prepare High School STEM Teachers, J. Eli Crow, Teresa J. Kennedy, Michael R. L. Odell, John D. Ophus, and Jason T. Abbitt. Gender Equity in STEM: Increasing the Persistence of Females in the STEM K–12 Pipeline, Meredith Jones. Geographic Disparities in Science Achievement: The Case of Metropolitan St. Louis, Brittni D. Jones and William F. Tate. About the Contributors.