General Education

Lost Opportunity: Few U.S. Students Participate in STEM Out-of-School Programs
Out-of-school programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can strengthen young people’s grasp of and enthusiasm for those critical fields. It’s troubling that children in four out of five households do not (or cannot) take part in them. Change the Equation (CTEq) has, for the first time, examined how many children and teens in the United States participate in STEM programs outside of the school day. Our survey of more than 17,000 U.S. households with children in K-12 was conducted…

Rethinking High School: Supporting All Students to be College Ready in Math
Tracy Huebner and Grace Calisi Corbett, WestEd, 2008
In mathematics classes across the country, many students identify themselves as being in one of two camps: Those who can do math and those who can't. Such labels may be assumed by the students themselves or unconsciously assigned to them by the adults in their lives based on students' math achievement. Whatever its source, the 'can't' label may be a costly one. This Rethinking High School report profiles three high schools supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that have successfully implemented mathematics programs that prepare all students for college.

C-Programming vs. Java
Dr. Robert B.K. Dewar, AdaCore Inc., Dr. Edmond Schonberg, AdaCore Inc.
Where Are the Software Engineers of Tomorrow? It is our view that Computer Science (CS) education is neglecting basic skills, in particular in the areas of programming and formal methods. We consider that the general adoption of Java as a first programming language is in part responsible for this decline. We examine briefly the set of
programming skills that should be part of every software professional’s repertoire.

Computational Thinking
Jeannette M. Wing, Carnegie Mellon University
Computational thinking confronts the riddle of machine intelligence: What can humans do better than computers? And what can computers do better than humans? Most fundamentally it addresses the question: What is computable? Today, we know only parts of the answers to such questions. Computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone, not just computer scientists.

Describing 16 Habits of Mind
Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D. and Bena Kallick, Ph.D.
By definition, a problem is any stimulus, question, task, phenomenon, or discrepancy, the explanation for which is not immediately known. Thus, we are interested in focusing on student performance under those challenging conditions that demand strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity, and craftsmanship to resolve a complex problem.

The Intellectual and Policy Foundations of the 21st Century Skills Framework
Partnership for 21st Century Skills
In 2007 the Partnership for 21st Century Skills released an updated version of its 21st Century framework which encapsulates the outcomes and support systems needed to prepare students for 21st century life.
21st Century Skills Framework handout as PDF

The Two High-School Pillars Supporting College Science
Philip M.Sadler and Robert H. Tai
Out-of-discipline high-school science courses are not associated with better performance in introductory college biology, chemistry, or physics courses, but high-school math counts.

What Work Requires of Schools
The Secretary's Commision on Achieving Necessary Skills
U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Secretary of Labor Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) was asked to examine the demands of the workplace and whether our young people are capable of meeting those demands. Specifically, the Commission was directed to advise the Secretary on the level of skills required to enter employment. This report results from discussions and meetings with business owners, public employers, unions, and workers and supervisors in shops, plants, and stores.

America's Pressing Challenge
The National Science Board
If the U.S. is to maintain its economic leadership and compete in the new global economy, the Nation must prepare today’s K-12 students better to be tomorrow’s productive workers and citizens. Changing workforce requirements mean that new workers will need ever more sophisticated skills in science, mathematics, engineering
and technology.