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CRMSE 2017 DISTINGUISHED LECTURER SERIES—PHILIP BELL (MAY 25, 2017)

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STEM Education, Economics, and Equity (SEEE): A Leadership Education Initiative

This initiative offers a series of seminars centered on presentations by economists, political scientists, educators, and leading thinkers who are experts on some of the "big questions" about how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education relates to economics and social  equity.  Each seminar includes a talk and a subsequent discussion held by a panel of local leaders who will raise questions and reactions to the presenters’ ideas.  Transcriptions of these talks and discussions will be posted in this website hosting an online forum which will gather ongoing contributions from diverse participants, links to other resources, and accompanying materials.  We anticipate two seminars per year for a period of five years.  The initiative is led by an editorial committee, including members from different constituencies such as universities, school districts, and businesses.  This editorial committee looks for funds to support the initiative while preserving total autonomy in decision making, such as in deciding on speakers to invite and on the structure of the website.

Many parents, educators, administrators, politicians, and businessmen worry about the state of STEM education and strive to support programs and policies to improve its quality and broaden access.   Over the years numerous debates have spread across the nation on which programs and policies are more likely to foster students' quality preparation and interest in mathematics, science, and engineering.   Many of these efforts take the form of exposing leaders and stakeholders to selected programs, innovations, and evaluations in an effort to ascertain which ones are the most deserving of support.  These types of activities are useful because they help familiarize leaders with an array of ongoing initiatives taking place in formal and informal education.  However, they rarely elicit discussions about the "big questions" that ultimately must orient educational reform, such as:

  • Economics.  How does economic development at local, regional, and national levels relate to the state of STEM education?  How does a nation's investment in STEM education translate into economic and cultural benefits for its population? In what ways does formal education impact the availability of an educated workforce in a certain geographical region? 
  • Equity.  How do changes in demography and cultural roots of the population affect and are affected by STEM education?  What does the educational and economic history of the country tell us about these matters? What makes STEM education more or less relevant to the life of culturally diverse students?  How does testing affect the educational trajectory of students across cultural and economic differences?
  • Educational Policy.  What are the trade-offs between centralized and local control on education?  What are major differences between liberal and conservative "agendas" regarding STEM education?  In what ways do educational policies facilitate or impede the contributions of informal institutions (e.g. after school programs, museums, community centers) to STEM education?  How do teacher constituencies position regarding policy initiatives proposed at national and state levels?

While we will pursue broad attendance and participation in the seminars, the main desired impact of the initiative is not necessarily media attention but educational leadership.   We hope that over the years this initiative will offer support for political, economic, and educational leaders in Southern California to become better educated on the different viewpoints at the intersections between STEM education, economics, and culture.  Furthermore, we expect that this richer and deeper understanding will help catalyze other initiatives striving to influence educational policies in Sacramento and Washington, as well as local innovations benefiting students and families in the San Diego area.

 

The Editorial Committee is formed by:

  1. Penny Adler, Education Committee, League of Women Voters - San Diego
  2. Mike ChapinRetired CEO, Geocon, Inc.
  3. Luke Duesbery, Director, San Diego State University (SDSU) Center for Teaching Critical Thinking & Creativity (CTCTC)
  4. Jacque Nevels, Education Committee, League of Women Voters - San Diego
  5. Ellen Peneski, Program Coordinator, City of San Diego
  6. Randy Philipp, Director, SDSU CRMSE
  7. Candice Price, Professor, University of San Diego (USD) College of Arts & Sciences
  8. Kathryn Schulz, Regional Director, San Diego Science Project, UCSD CREATE
  9. Joi Spencer, Associate Dean, USD School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES)
  10. Bill Zahner, Associate Director, SDSU Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE)
 
 
 

DONATE TO SEEE SEMINARS

We welcome any support you can give the SEEE Seminar Series.

To make a donation:

1) Click the button below.

2) Enter the donation amount and check "Choose areas of designation."

4) In the popup window, scroll down to check "Other", and click "Continue".

5) Type SEEE Seminar Series c/o CRMSE in the box below "Selected Designations."

6) Fill out the rest of the form.

As an alternative, you can download this flyer, print it, and mail in your donation.

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