Response 399896845

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Questions

1. Do you agree with the definition provided of STEM for the purposes of this Strategy?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

2. Do you think the aims of this Strategy and the four priority themes are the right ones to address the challenges identified?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Do you think the aims of this Strategy and the four priority themes are the right ones to address the challenges identified?
This provides a useful structure within which derived practice and policy may be rationalised. Yes we do have a good track record; must not provide complacency or a spirit of "wha's like us." Attainment gap has not narrowed during the past decade - low aspirations and underachievement characterise much of Scotland's urban landscape. Poverty remains our greatest challenge.

3. Are these success criteria right?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If not, tell us what criteria we should use instead.
It is, nevertheless, difficult to contemplate how, and by whom those criteria and derived sub criteria will be monitored and evaluated.

4. Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?

Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?
Its value is that it attempts to provide coherence across the educational landscape. It seems to have a disproportionate emphasis on this while neglecting the richness of the 4 priorities as described in the paper.

5. Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.

Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.
It has the potential to bolt on to existing practices within formal education at all levels but only following significant investment into enculturing the entire educational workforce. If STEM is to meet those aspirations outlined in the paper it significance must be acted upon by all participants.

6. Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.

Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.
SSERC's Science and the primary school's CPD project could be extended. A parallel project is vital to ensure that midcareer STEM subject teachers are brought up to date with their subjects.

7. Do you agree with the principles set out for implementation?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Do you agree with the principles set out for implementation?
It appears to be very "top-down" and with little consideration given to investing into a collective vision, that might impact on practice.

8. What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?

What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?
The entire educational workforce requires CPD in relation to the cross curricular significance of STEM and the opportunities that they might exploit within their own teaching. We must attack the culture of the primary school staffroom where teachers find it acceptable to declare "I really do not understand science". Similar negative attitudes at other stages must be revised.An inescapable part of citizenship in the 21st-century involves being immersed in a scientific society which benefits from outstanding technological advances and artefacts; acknowledging the astonishing capability of the pocket computer (smart phone) should be sufficient to disabuse cynics. An audit of the day's newspaper ought to be enough to make an impact on antiscience attitudes. This could be achieved by participation in a dedicated "MOOC" - Massive Open Online Course - e.g. FutureLearn, Coursera. (I'm currently following an online course that has 3500 class members.)

9. Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?

Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?
The paper's intentions are sound but it risks ending up as an afterthought rather than providing the philosophical driver for STEM now and in the future.I'm pessimistic about the paper's potential to make significant impact in the absence of investment of the types mentioned above

10. Will this Strategy improve equity of outcomes? If not, tell us what else it should include, in particular for women and girls and other groups of people – disabled people, care leavers and minority ethnic communities.

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Will this Strategy improve equity of outcomes? If not, tell us what else it should include, in particular for women and girls and other groups of people – disabled people, care leavers and minority ethnic communities.
I'm pessimistic about the paper's potential to make significant impact in the absence of investment of the types mentioned above.

11. What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?

What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?
The first question should surely be "What support is required from the Scottish government"? The educational workforce has much to offer but they do require significant investment into their CPD.

12. What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies.

What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies
They offer much; and often provide their support and expertise is a significant part of their mission without any SG support.

16. Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?
Supported Masters level programmes could be entered via previously mentioned MOOC's.

17. Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?
This risks undermining existing STEM ambassador programmes