UBC Graduate Research

Poor roots and weak stem: potential issues in STEM leadership programs DeAbreu, Robert J.


In continuing response to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, the United States (U.S.) Department of Education releases an annual appropriation of 180 million dollars for Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP), whose “overarching goal … is to increase students’ achievement in mathematics and science by increasing teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical skills” (Merrill & Daugherty, 2010, 23). In their article, Merrill and Daugherty hail the MSP funded science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Education and Leadership Program at Illinois State University (ISU) as an example of the direction that many MSP funded STEM programs should take to address the needs of students and teachers. However, as this paper will discuss, the authors seem to ignore some fundamental flaws in the leadership model of U.S. government funded MSP projects, which create issues in initiatives such as ISU’s STEM Education and Leadership Program from their outset through preset restrictions and regulations, and this can hinder the intended promotion of STEM careers.

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