Thursday, October 31, 2013

STEAM-Roller - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher

STEAM-Roller - Teacher in a Strange Land - Education Week Teacher:


I'm in the middle of facilitating a five-week online course--STEM & STEAM--for Powerful Learning Practice, and as often is the case in education, I'm sure I'm learning way more than the course participants. Partly this is because my teaching partner is the amazing Anne Jolly, a genuine expert in STEM learning, an incredible master teacher--and a thoughtful, patient person who has tolerated my endless questions and doubts with good cheer. 
When Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Powerful Learning Practice's guru-in-chief, asked Anne and I to teach the class, I responded in my usual poke-at-prevailing-wisdom way with data about the questionable federal push for increasing STEM education. 
While there may be crying national need for a more creative, technically capable workforce, we're not going to get it by making kids take more traditional math/science courses,  increasing the number of PhDs in math and science or graduating more engineers whose entry-level work can be cheaply outsourced to Asia.  Buying them iPads is not a solution, either. 
 I agreed to develop and teach the course, however--for the chance to work with Anne, and for the opportunity to explore what I see as a well-meant but potentially deceptive curricular cheat: