Increasing STEM Competence in Urban, High Poverty Elementary School Populations

Cynthia Tomovic Sueanne McKinney
Enhancing STEM competence (e.g., interests, knowledge, skills, and dispositions) among urban, high poverty, elementary school populations in the United States (U.S.) is and remains a growing national concern, especially since Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competence is and will continue to be a necessary requisite for gainful employment in the future, according to workforce development experts. In an attempt to address this gap, many urban elementary schools have begun
more » ... to offer STEM-related programs to increase STEM learning at an early age. STEM competence (interest, knowledge, skills, and dispositions), however, remains low. This paper results in a matrix used to analyze children's fictional literary selections and a model that argues that elementary teachers, as the first point of contact with young students, can affect STEM competence. By adopting a more culturally responsive pedagogy that attends to the 21st Century Learning Skills and the Next Generation Science Standards, teachers can choose literature that serves to excite and reinforce STEM learning.
doi:10.14456/k12stemed.2017.12 fatcat:uejzd32mj5auhb5ooemxexq7zu