The Key To Kids’ Enrollment In STEM Courses? Parents
Erik Robelen, writing on the Education Week blog, reports that educating parents about the importance of studying STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) is a smart way to get their kids enrolled in such courses:
“A new study suggests that a fairly simple intervention with parents can translate into their teenage children getting more STEM education.
The field experiment involved sending parents two glossy brochures and the link to a website, all highlighting the value of studying STEM subjects. The result? Students from those families, on average, took nearly one semester more of science and mathematics in the last two years of high school, compared with a control group of families not exposed to this intervention.
‘Parents are an untapped resource for promoting STEM motivation, and the results of our study demonstrate that a modest intervention aimed at parents can produce significant changes in their children’s academic choices,’ researchers write in an article published this month in the journal Psychological Science.
The research comes at a time of growing national concern about the need to prepare more students for careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.
Not surprisingly, the researchers say that parents’ education level was a strong predictor of their children’s coursetaking patterns, as other research has found. Simply put, the children of more highly educated parents took more math and science courses.
But here’s what’s striking. The effect of the randomized intervention was nearly as strong as the effect of parents’ education, the study concludes.” Read more here.
I wonder how else we could be better educating parents about smart choices for their children’s education . . . seems like a lot of potential here.