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Peabody Journal of Education, Volume 87, Issue 1, 2012

Staying Ahead of the Gathering Storm


Over the past few decades math and science education has become an area of increased focus for lawmakers and educators alike. With most of today's jobs requiring increased levels of technical understanding, math, science, and technology have taken center stage in the discussion of education policy. In this edition of The Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, guest editors Jon Miller and Camilla Benbow examine the role schools and families can take in encouraging children to pursue careers in these fields. Each article focuses on different variables, each of which affect student access to professions in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine (STEMM). By exploring the diverse pathways leading to a STEMM career, and by exploring modern ideas on STEMM fields, this issue argues that increasing the United States' focus on STEMM education will benefit not only those students affect, but also the nation as a whole.

The issue begins with an introductory piece by guest editors Jon Miller and Camilla Benbow. The article frames the rising problems in math and science education as a "gathering storm." The next article, written by John Miller and V. Scott Solberg, clarifies the current composition of the STEMM workforce, explaining the reasons behind differentiating between professional and support careers. Camilla Benbow then analyzes the implications of her findings from the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, finding that increased educational opportunity correlates with higher levels of employment and a greater focus on creativity. Jon Miller and Linda Kimmel build off of this analysis in their study of pathways to a STEMM profession. Utilizing data collected from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY), Miller and Kimmel trace the branching pathways to employment in a STEMM profession. In the next article, Willie Pearson and Jon Miller use the LSAY data to trace the educational pathways that lead to a career in engineering. Bruce Fuchs and Jon Miller also analyze the pathways to a STEMM career, this time focusing on careers in medicine and health. The next article is also a pathways analysis, Solberg, Kimmel, and Miller analyze which educational choices lead students toward a career in STEMM support occupations.

Linda Kimmel, Jon Miller, and Jacquelynne Eccles provide the next article, which builds upon the preceding studies of career pathways by analyzing gender's role in STEMM professions. In this article, Kimmel, Miller, and Eccles use LSAY data to examine whether gender factors into a student's choice to pursue an occupation in a STEMM field. The final pathways analysis by Miller and Pearson looks at ways students from noncollege homes could enter into a STEMM profession. This analysis focuses on the fact that students from noncollege homes are less likely to take high level math classes in early grades, thereby reducing their chances of success in a STEMM field. The issue then concludes with a piece by William Schmidt that outlines the problems facing math education in today's America. This final article uses the results of various international testing metrics to place the United States on a comparative scale from which the author then draws conclusions about the state of mathematics in the U.S.

As always, the Peabody Journal of Education would like to extend its gratitude to Jon Miller and Camilla Benbow for organizing this excellent issue. The PJE is thankful as well to all the authors for their contributions, without which this issue on STEMM education in the U.S. would not have been possible. We hope practitioners and researchers alike will find this discussion insightful and useful.

CONTENTS
Journal abstracts are linked to titles.

Introduction to Staying Ahead of the Gathering Storm
Jon D. Miller and Camilla P. Benbow
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 1-5.

The Composition of the STEMM Workforce: Rationale for Differentiating STEMM Professional and STEMM Support Careers
Jon D. Miller and V. Scott Solberg
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 6-15.

Identifying and Nurturing Future Innovators in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: A Review of Findings From the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth
Camilla P. Benbow
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 16-25.

Pathways to a STEMM Profession
Jon D. Miller and Linda G. Kimmel
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87, No. 1: pages 26-45.

Pathways to an Engineering Career
Willie Pearson, Jr. and Jon D. Miller
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 46-61.

Pathways to Careers in Medicine and Health
Bruce A. Fuchs and Jon D. Miller
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 62-76.

Pathways to STEMM Support Occupations
V. Scott Solberg, Linda G. Kimmel, and Jon D. Miller
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 77-91.

Do the Paths to STEMM Professions Differ by Gender?
Linda G. Kimmel, Jon D. Miller, and Jacquelynne S. Eccles
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 92-113.

Pathways to STEMM Professions for Students from Noncollege Homes
Jon D. Miller and Willie Pearson, Jr.
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 114-132.

At the Precipice: The Story of Mathematics Education in the United States
William H. Schmidt
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 87,
No. 1: pages 133-156.


 
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