NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Innovation Teaching Methods Key to STEM Growth

May 28, 2015

It is a great time to be a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) major in Texas. Dallas made Forbes's list of the top 10 cities for STEM jobs and has the second highest annual median wage growth for STEM workers, while Houston and Austin were named the top two metropolitan areas for STEM professionals in a Wallet Hub report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects Texas will have 758,000 STEM jobs by 2018, second only to California.

In order to fill the growing number of STEM openings, Texas must make a concerted effort to boost student engagement and performance in STEM subjects, starting with elementary school students. To achieve the improvements the state is seeking, schools across Texas must reevaluate not only what they teach, but how STEM subjects are taught.

At the Momentous School in Dallas, students are actively, enthusiastically engaged in learning math concepts and applying those concepts to solve problems — thanks to a state-of-the-art online curriculum and teacher/classroom structuring program called Reasoning Mind.  

  • Reasoning Mind students are engaged and on task 89 percent of the time, on average. Compared to a typical classroom, that works out to an additional 40 hours of math instruction each year when Reasoning Mind is used as a core curriculum.
  • Some 67 percent of students using Reasoning Mind say that their enjoyment of mathematics increased as a result of the program.

Flexibility is the key to Reasoning Mind and programs like it. These systems deliver effective instruction for advanced students and remediation for struggling students, and they perform successfully in traditional school, after-school and home environments. They get students out of traditional lecture-based classroom desks. And, in the case of Reasoning Mind, put them in front of a computer screen interacting with a virtual genie to learn basic concepts, build upon previously mastered material, and get students thinking about how that material can be applied in other situations.

Source: Lloyd Bentsen IV, "Innovation Teaching Methods Key to STEM Growth," National Center for Policy Analysis, May 28, 2015. 

 

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