Notre Dame to host dialogue on the teaching of science and math

Author: Bill Schmitt

Middle school science student

A day of discussions and workshops devoted to one of the most crucial issues in education — bringing world-class aptitude in science and math to the next generation of U.S. citizens — will cap the Notre Dame Forum series on “Reimagining School” on June 12 (Tuesday).

Leading experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education from around the country will join local practitioners at a “Forum on K-20 STEM Education” to focus on recent developments in the teaching and learning of those fields. They will pay special attention to K-12 contexts while also considering the years (K-20) spanning graduate studies.

“Improving the nature of science and math education in the United States is essential for the country to maintain its leadership in the global economy and for individuals to navigate an increasingly complex world,” said Karen Morris, a member of the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI) task force planning the all-day event.

“At a time when the United States lags behind in STEM education achievement and interest in STEM careers, improving the curriculum, instruction and assessment around STEM disciplines is paramount.”

Morris, who directs the IEI’s program spreading Advanced Placement science and math courses in Indiana high schools, has worked with IEI associate director Packy Lyden, in collaboration with Matt Kloser, an Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) graduate who holds a Ph.D. in science education and previously served on the ACE faculty of instruction.

“This forum will leverage the wisdom and practice of national experts and award-winning teachers of math and science to deeply investigate the future of science and math education,” said Lyden.

The morning will consist of two panel discussions, followed by break-out discussions in the afternoon to focus on relevant issues and practical applications in STEM education. The event, starting with sign-in at Notre Dame’s Jordan Hall of Science at 8:15 a.m., is free of charge. Educators from the surrounding region are invited to attend, and Professional Growth Points can be earned by attendees. Online registration is available on the Forum website and the list of featured panelists.

Speakers include:

  • Jonathan Osborne, the Shiriam Family Professor of Science Education at Stanford University
  • Angie Calabrese Barton, professor of science education at Michigan State University
  • Hugh Ross, a high school teacher with degrees in both engineering and education who leads workshops for science teachers
  • Michael Shaughnessy, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Julie Booth, assistant professor of educational psychology at Temple University
  • Suzanne Dolembo, math teacher at Mishawaka High School who was recently a finalist for 2012 Indiana Teacher of the Year

Afternoon sessions for interaction between experts and local practitioners will include topics such as:

  • “Closing the Achievement Gap in Science and Math Education”
  • “The Role of Technology in Math and Science Classrooms”
  • “From Zero to 60: A Flipped Workshop Presenting a Roadmap for becoming a Designer of Online STEM Learning Environments”
  • “How to Develop Strategies for Improving Yourself as a Professional Science/Math Educator”

The 2011-2012 Notre Dame Forum, “Re-Imagining School,” has engaged faculty, staff, students and distinguished visitors in a series of events hosted by Office of the President. The Forum Committee has been chaired by Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., director of the IEI and co-founder of ACE, and Nicole Stelle Garnett, professor of law and ACE coordinator of policy.

Contact: Bill Schmitt, 574-631-3893