In the realm of education, we often forget to discuss the roots of education for all youth: their teachers.

That is why the theme of this month is the teaching of STEM subjects.

As such, the question for February is:

It is unfortunate that science teachers are lacking around the world and have been for over 17 years. What are some solutions to this and how can we keep girls interested in science to promote lifelong learning?

3 thoughts on “Question of the Month: February”

  1. I believe lifelong learning begins from home. Though some of us may have been lucky to have teachers who encouraged us to pursue STEM, there are girls who still face the traditional stigmas that start from what they hear at home. Growing up, I was told that science and math are studies for boys and that I should focus on becoming an administrative assistant at a doctor’s office or a translator as my career path. STEM was never up for consideration. If we want to continue fostering girls in STEM, we need to start addressing the community and families as a whole.

  2. First of all, Mariya, I agree with you that education starts from the ground up and therefore that means looking at the messages that communities and families are spreading to their children. In terms of the problem surrounding science teachers, I think a multi-faceted approach must be used to combat it. Teacher salaries must be raised. Teaching is perhaps one of the most important jobs that exists, yet all too frequently, teachers are very paid low wages. In addition, I think that more specialized programs should be created to help future teachers learn the most effective ways to teach STEM, and specifically, how best to promote gender equality in the STEM classroom. Also, teachers should be recognized more for what they do. Yes, there are teacher appreciation days and some “best teacher” awards at certain schools, but schools and communities should develop more recognition programs to commend excellent teachers and to encourage high-quality teaching. We must not forget that teaching is a cycle: from the beginning, if girls do not receive quality STEM education, they will be less likely to considering teaching STEM, therefore causing the amount of girls of the next generation who enter STEM fields to decrease due to lack of education and quality mentors.

  3. The provision of lifelong learning facilities and university connections and support for teachers would greatly help in a) ensuring STEM teachers are qualified and confident, and b) the retention of the very best staff by avoiding burn out. Providing safe spaces for girls and women, and creating guidelines for mentors, teachers, and peers (for example social media guidelines) at every level of education, and actively challenging the toxic narratives that say STEM subjects are more suited to boys, would go a long way to balancing this all out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *