Elevating Math and Science Education

By July 22, 2007General

Good event in Fairfax, Va., tomorrow, a national town hall discussion of math and science education, featuring Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, pro-golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy, the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions.

Worthy corporate citizen ExxonMobil is a big mover behind this training effort, organized via the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. The event coincides with the Math Solutions week of workshops, which helps 200 third- through fifth-grade teachers gain new techniques for effective teaching of math and science. (A news release with background here.)

Seems like all advanced industrial countries are struggling with technical education and the shortage of students gaining the skills needed for the high-tech manufacturing sector. Check out this story from The Australian.

AUSTRALIA is losing its mathematical skills as school courses are hijacked by fads and divorced from modern mathematics as practised in industry and business.

At a time when economic growth is underpinned by jobs in maths-related fields, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute says the teaching and learning of maths in schools and universities is in serious trouble and suffering from a lack of input from mathematicians.

Not only is the number of students taking maths continually falling, especially at an advanced level, but even students studying related fields such as engineering and science are taking fewer maths courses.

Makes one wonder whether wealthy societies inherently fall prey to lower educational standards and sloth. Well, not if manufacturers can help it.

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