Using Evidence to Inform Policy for Undergraduate STEM Education

Friday, February 17, 2017: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 312 (Hynes Convention Center)
This symposium, the second of a two-part series, addresses evidence-based policymaking to improve undergraduate STEM education. If compelling evidence exists that certain approaches to teaching and learning result in greater student achievement, retention, and self-efficacy, do current education policies support the adoption of these evidence-based approaches? What policies need to change at departmental and institutional levels, and for funders of programs to improve undergraduate STEM education? Speakers address these questions by examining today’s undergraduate student populations and institutional policies, and the education research that has shaped funding policies. The issues raised in this symposium fit in a larger context. For more than a decade, blue-ribbon panels and reports have called for improvements. The goals are to 1) recruit more students, 2) better retain students, especially those from historically underrepresented groups, and 3) help all students better understand and appreciate the importance of STEM to their lives, their communities, and the planet. Recruiting and retaining students from historically underrepresented populations has been a compelling emphasis.  A growing understanding of how people learn points to ways in which pedagogies can be changed to improve student achievement. In response, public and private agencies have committed significant resources toward improving undergraduate STEM education. This symposium addresses how evidence from these efforts can be implied toward improving STEM education policy.
Jay B. Labov, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Muriel Poston, National Science Foundation
Jay B. Labov, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Shirley M. Malcom, AAAS Education and Human Resources
Policies That Matter: Changing a System Built for the Students We Wish We Had