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What Will It Take to Get More STEM Teachers in the Classroom?

We often write about the trouble that school districts around the country have finding qualified people to teach science and the other STEM subjects of technology, engineering, and math.

Michael Marder, the co-founder and co-director of UTeach, a program that prepares STEM students at 45 universities to become middle and high school teachers, argues that the problem is "our country's single biggest obstacle" to progress.

But why is it so hard to find STEM teachers? And what can be done to make it easier?

To find out, Education Week Commentary editors went to the source, asking classroom teachers, researchers, and those charged with preparing teachers these questions. The editors also brought together a panel of leaders in the STEM field from the world of business to get more insight on the problem and possible solutions.

But even when schools find STEM teachers, those educators may not be prepared to do the job well.

A researcher who leads professional development for science teachers, Kirsten Daehler, just flat out says, "...it's tough to teach science well."

Daehler is a professional learning specialist at WestEd where she directs Making Sense of Science, a professional development program for teachers. She says the key to making sure all students have outstanding science teachers is "continuous learning."

Please check out this special section, "Science Learning: Under the Microscope," and share your thoughts with us on this very important topic in education.


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