Student perspective of STEM education in Canada - White paper

By: Shawn McGuirk

November 07, 2016

The Science & Policy Exchange STEM Working Group convened STEM students and experts representing perspectives from academic, government, and private sectors to discuss current challenges and opportunities in Canadian STEM Education. The Working Group identified issues such as an over-reliance on memorization and a lack of career awareness, critical skills expected by employers, and reliable information to evaluate programs.

Solutions to these challenges were also identified including reducing class sizes, and fostering the development of interdisciplinary courses, training for critical skills, career planning, and teaching support for faculty. The Working Group also strongly favored the addition of internship programs and recommended amending certain funding criteria to reward students with varied skillsets as well as establishing a centralized reporting system to track student progress and career trajectories.

Students were excited to be involved in developing policies that will shape the education of future generations of STEM students. As a major stakeholder in education policy, we believe that integrating a student perspective into policy discussions and development is a critical and often neglected component of successful education policy reform. These solutions and strategies have been summarized in this white paper, which we hope will galvanize further discussion as well as incite stakeholders to establish new initiatives to improve STEM education in Canada.

These findings will be presented at the Canadian Science Policy Conference in a joint panel on November 8th 2016.

Download full paper as PDF (English only):

Click here to download executive summary only

Cliquez ici pour télécharger le sommaire en français