In a STEM Learning Ecosystem, educators, whether preK-16 teachers, out-of-school time/summer staff, experts in informal STEM institutions or STEM professionals acting as mentors, build their capacity through high-quality relevant professional development, cross-sector experiences and sharing effective practices. Educators understand and respect the role of educators in other settings.
To equip educators, STEM Ecosystems can:
- Design and implement high-quality professional learning and development for educators across settings, including joint training and co-teaching experiences that are planned and implemented by schools and districts, STEM-expert institutions, out-of-school time/ summer programs and teacher preparation programs.
- Connect educators with private and public sector STEM employees (such as computer scientists, university-based researchers, civil engineers and locality-specific industries such as forestry, fishing, energy, etc.) through externships and other approaches.
- Consider out-of-school time/expanded learning programs or STEM-expert institutions as places for pre-service practica and in-service work by county or district science or STEM specialists.
- Develop approaches to continuous improvement, informed by shared data, to increase quality in all programmatic settings.
- Support reflection and peer learning across settings.