STEMming the failure of math confidence
In the 2013 US job market there are approximately 3 million unfilled positions because companies can’t find workers with basic technical skills in science and math. That number is expected to increase to about 10 million open positions seven years from now and has been predicted to soar thereafter.
What STEM is. There is a movement afoot to correct that knowledge shortfall, described in shorthand as STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. And it is what has been deemed necessary to fill all those unfilled jobs, and what many children (and adults) need to be employed in a technology-driven present and future.
What kids unlearn in school. Children are natural scientists, engineers, and problem-solvers, who have number sense and math abilities at a very early age. They make sense of the world through touch, building, dismantling, creating, and exploring. It just feels like fun. However, research shows that by fourth grade, a third of boys and girls have lost an interest in science. By eighth grade, almost half don’t care or think (or hope) it’s not important to their education or future life plans. That means that the millions of young people lack the excitement and confidence that are fundamental to achievement.
Educators, Standards, and STEM. Effective teachers with content knowledge in science and mathematics play a key role in student achievement, both in teaching concepts and engendering enthusiasm for the subject matter. New curriculums designed around Common Core State Standards in Math were developed to provide teachers with guidelines and to deepen much-needed understanding for students and to give them, especially the youngest, the jumpstart they need. Many STEM teachers in high school and middle school have a degree or a minor in their subjects, but elementary teachers are generalists and typically major in education. DreamBox Math Learning provides primary school teachers with the tools they need to speed student math proficiency.
Kids can learn to love math. Great teachers and math instructional tools that bring a sense of discovery into learning is what can make the difference between ‘ugh’ and ‘aha!’ when it comes to kids and their reaction to math instruction. Kids can love math—it needs to be an adventure as it was when they first started exploring their environment. DreamBox has an engaging learning environment that doesn’t sacrifice fun and creates an experience that captures a student’s imagination and attention, while using an Intelligent Adaptive Engine™ and a curriculum in alignment to the Common Core that creates confidence and a sense of mastery.
Learn more about DreamBox and our vision for the future of learning.