Policy Analysis

APS Member Testifies About Undergraduate STEM-Ed

Although this week in D.C. has been dominated by the release of the Obama Administration’s FY 2011 budget, other work continues, in particular preparations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  The Subcommittee on Research and Science Education of the Science and Technology Committee held a hearing Thursday morning on “Strengthening Undergraduate and Graduate STEM Education.”

Associate Professor of Physics Education Research, and APS member, Dr. Noah Finkelstein testified before the committee.  His remarks can be read here, and a replay of the hearing watched here.

Dr. Finkelstein’s three points, which follow, were well received by the committee:
  • Research into science education and learning has demonstrated new techniques that shift the teaching focus to a student-centered, inquiry- based method. But, even more research is needed to understand how to sustain reforms and bring them to every student in the country.
  • Any reforms to the national STEM-Ed efforts need to include higher education to successfully meet national challenges and goals.
  • The challenges facing STEM-Ed are larger than can be addressed solely by the federal government, but the government can and should act as a catalyst to initiate changes and forge partnerships to address the problem. Federal grants can be used to access the immense, and often inert, resources in the university systems.

Policy news and viewpoints for the physics community. The analysis and opinions are those of the APS Office of Public Affairs and do not necessarily represent the entire Society.