April 2019

Cross-Canada forum: STEM in teacher education – A Canadian perspective

On April 9, 2019 I was invited to participate in a very interesting panel organized by the OISE’s (Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education) Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) Centre and the Canadian Science Education Research Group (SERG). These two organizations co-hosted this cross-Canada forum titled: STEM in Teacher Education – A Canadian Perspective. The panel was videotaped and I hope it will be of interest to many mathematics and science educators who are trying to understand what STEM means in the Canadian context. For me, it was especially interesting to think about the challenges of the STEM construct itself, its history and its future. I also tried to think how we educate our teachers and if we can expect from them to be able to teach in the way that STEM education suggests. The summary by Prof. David Blades was especially interesting. I hope my students will find it illuminating as well.

The description of the panel discussion was as follows:

Over the last decade or so, the STEM acronym has gained momentum as a hot new term in educational and public spheres in Canada. Despite the term’s ubiquity, education systems have been slow to formally identify ways in which we should approach STEM education, much less how we should conceptualize what STEM means in a Canadian context. Meanwhile, teachers are being prepared for classrooms where they are expected to introduce the STEM construct to their students. In the cross-Canada forum STEM in teacher education: A Canadian perspective, panelists and audience members will explore ways in which teacher educators in Canada are preparing pre-service teachers for this new avenue of teaching and learning while examining the potential challenges and affordances attending STEM education.

Panel members:

  • Jesse Bazzul, University of Regina
  • Karen Goodnough, Memorial University
  • Marina Milner-Bolotin, University of British Columbia
  • Christine Tippett, University of Ottawa
  • Carol Rees, Thompson Rivers University.

Afterthoughts provided by David Blades, University of Victoria

Moderator: Doug McDougall, OISE, University of Toronto; Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education.

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