Where next for STEM Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance? Policy and Strategy Briefing Paper 2
and innovation observatory
2 Where next for STEM Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance?
Guest author Pat Morton
What is the Science and Innovation Observatory? The Science and Innovation Observatory has been established by Sheffield Hallam University’s two education research and knowledge transfer centres, the Centre for Science Education (CSE) and the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research (CEIR), to stimulate and inform policy development and debate. Both centres have vast experience of the STEM education and skills world. The STEM agenda continues to be a high priority of the coalition government, with science and innovation policy a crucial factor in economic stability. In challenging times there is a need for informed thinking on policy and strategy in science and innovation, particularly relating to education and skills which have never been as important. The Observatory will meet this need.
How does the Observatory make a difference? The priorities of the Observatory are: Provision of research, evaluation, intelligence, research synthesis and ‘polemical’ writing on key developments in STEM, particularly education and skills issues Informing and influencing policy makers and strategic audiences in developing responses to these agendas Provision of an independent and critical body for policy comment
What does the Observatory Do? The priority for the Observatory in the coming months is to engage with policy-makers, academics and business leaders to produce policy and strategy briefings on key areas of priority for development in relation to science and innovation matters relating to education and skills, of which this document is the second. Our first briefing: Evaluating STEM initiatives was published in summer 2011.
Where next for STEM Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance? 3
“effective careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is an extremely important component of school provision as it impacts upon students' aspirations, achievements and therefore potentially their life chances and social mobility.”
Part 1: Setting the Current and Future Context for STEM Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)
The crossover of issues can be seen in both lists even though the emphasis is different. Schools need support from external bodies to access STEM careers and raise awareness, but they also need leadership and motivation from within. In a study for the National College, Barnes and Kent (p3, 2010) found that
The Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Subject Choice and Careers project (2008-2011) managed by the Centre for Science Education (CSE) at Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with Babcock Careers was part of the substantial national investment by government to address the decline in numbers of students choosing subjects, courses and careers in the STEM field. Other parts of the STEM Careers programme funded by government included Future Morph, a website resource for young people hosted by the science Council; a research 'Timeline Project' led by the Centre for Education and Industry, University of Warwick; and a media communications campaign.
“effective careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is an extremely important component of school provision as it impacts upon students' aspirations, achievements and therefore potentially their life chances and social mobility. “
The project shed new light on the benefits of effective practice in careers-inspired learning and provided evidence of how much schools can achieve when they have the right support and tools. The findings also illustrated the slow response within schools to new and changing policy shifts (CSE and Babcock, 2010; 2011; Finegold, 2011). In 2010 the Gatsby Charitable Found