Vernier Science Education - June  2024


Forums / Research in Science Education / Next Generation of Science Educators

Research in Science Education

Next Generation of Science Educators

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Robert Anderson Robert Anderson 40 Points

This idea was brought up in a committee meeting, I'm not sure the best forum to post it, so I'm sticking it here. Apologies in advance.

Is anyone's state, county, district, or school doing anything to attract young learners, middle and high school, to the field of education, specifically science education? I sit on my state's licensure and preparation board, and we have been focused on ways to attract university students and career changersinto education but is that too late? My local union provides a scholarship to students going into education but there isn't much followup (we are working to change this). WE push students into STEM careers but are we doing enough to cultivate the next generation of science educators? I know, at an early stage in my career, I was the 'you're not becoming a math teacher, you're going to school, and you'll find a cure for cancer' person, and now I regret some of those comments. I don't know who will replace me when I hang up my Venier dual-range force sensor. 

Does anyone know of, or participate in, programs that engage early learners in a way that promotes entry/interest into the field of science education? I know there's Future Teachers of America exists. I'd love to be educated on FTA too. Are there any other resources I should be exploring as well? Should NSTA or local associatings be doing more to convice the 13 year old in physical science that being a science teacher might be a fantastic career path.

Thanks for your time!

Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 5755 Points

This is a great question! Personally, I'm a career switcher. I see so much benefit to my path of a strong grounding in the sciences and then learning the education. As with sciences, education requires a passion for life-long learning as tech tools and best practices emerge and refine. I teach in higher education. My department just restructured and adopted the name Department of STEM Education. This move honored the fact that our faculty are STEM experts but perform SoTL and DBER research. It is my hope that one day we can offer an education degree to train STEM teachers specifically - providing both strong STEM content knowledge and best practices within STEM Education. 

Zackary Anderson Zackary Anderson 805 Points

I am only just starting my science education journey in college. However, in high school, there was nothing pushing me to join science education or any education career. My school would often host these career fairs and events, however, there would never be a teacher or educational representative for schools. I think that teaching organizations, such as NSTA, should encourage events that promote students going into teaching. In high school, I also wanted more time to personally talk with my teachers about their careers and how it is to be a teacher. Opening these opportunities with our students can prompt them to go into education as a career.

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