White House Promotes Active Learning

(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a call for action on Wednesday for educators and agencies to join in an effort to meet the goals of STEM for All through the use of active learning.

Active learning includes scientific research or software design to supplement subject matter, computer activities that promote trial-and-error learning, collaboration among students, and writing to produce original ideas and understand concepts.

“Active learning strategies, in which students must engage, think, and solve problems, have been shown to increase retention of knowledge; develop higher-order skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; and increase student retention in STEM fields,” Jo Handelsman, associate director for Science in the OSTP, and Quincy Brown, senior policy adviser for the OSTP, wrote in a blog post.

The STEM for All effort, which was part of President Obama’s 2017 budget proposal, prioritizes improving STEM teaching by encouraging active learning, increasing access to STEM classes in middle and high school, and identifying problems and working to include underrepresented students in STEM.

“Throughout the Obama administration the president has recognized that engaging and educating more students in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects will meet a growing need in the nation’s high-tech economy and prepare young people for a range of rewarding careers,” Handelsman and Brown wrote.

The OSTP wants to hear about incentives given to PK-12 teachers for using active learning methods, investments in professional development opportunities for teachers, and training resources that encourage teachers to use active learning strategies.

The responses to the call to action are due to Whitehouse.gov by Sept. 23.

Morgan Lynch
About Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.
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