Closing the Achievement Gap in Education
The achievement gap between the haves and the have nots is a global problem
- There is a major achievement gap that leaves African-American and Latino students behind in science and STEM related fields. California is hoping that a new set of science standards will help close that gap.
- One new study, published in the journal CBE-Life Science Education found that active learning boosted outcomes for underrepresented minority students in biology. The study concluded that active learning boosted self confidence in all students.
- The study, led by Cissy Ballen, a postdoctoral associate in the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, defines active learning as things like working in groups and participating in classroom discussions, which can close the achievement gap in undergraduates.
The achievement gap between middle and higher income students and lower income kids, especially minorities like African Americans and Latinos is real, and some are trying to figure out ways to do something about it. This leads to a parallel gap in the workforce. For example, according to the National Science Foundation, African Americans make up about five percent of the science workforce, despite the fact that they make up 17 percent of the U.S. population.
But make no mistake, it’s not just an American problem. The achievement gap is a global phenomenon that should be forcing educators around the world to think about ways to foster global citizenship and competency.
With a highly connected world, now is the time to think globally, look at practices in nations that are high achievers in education, and import those practices and techniques to the U.S. This includes overhauling professional learning opportunities for educators, an idea that has been proven to increase student achievement and outcomes.
When it comes to the achievement gap, with the way the world is shrinking, the time is now to find ways to level the playing field for all students.
- Education Week – Teaching: Some Global Comparisons
- Christian Science Monitor – High-schoolers graduate in record numbers, but are they ready for what’s next?
- HuffPost – Education Cannot Wait – investing in our shared humanity