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retrain teachers in mathematics, science, foreign language, and computer
education are themselves under supported and poorly equipped for this
responsibility. Perhaps a majority of science education laboratories used
to prepare science teachers are out-of-date; most teacher education institutions
lack fully operative microcomputer labs and the ability to employ faculty for
leadership in instructional computing. There are enormous differences across
the 1300 or so sites where teacher education occurs in our nation, but
relatively few are currently equipped or appropriately staffed to meet their
And finally, Congress should be concerned about the problem of productivity
in education just as it is concerned with the level of productivity in the
economy as a whole.
It will be necessary to find more efficient and less costly
means to deliver high quality instruction in new fields to all who need it.
This will require making better instructional use of existing and forthcoming
technologies including interactive cable television and home computers equipped
You should not expect that the states or local educational
authorities can mount research and development efforts in the use of advanced
technology, but the Federal government and private industry working together could blaze new paths. These are some of the ways that Federal investments
could truly make a difference.
I am reminded of a quotation from Act IV, Scene 3 of
Julius Caesar in which the actor states:
I believe American education is at such & flood-tide now.
aware that action is required to improve schooling if our country is to move
forward and to retain its leadership position in the world.
I am grateful for the opportunity you have given me to address the
Subcommittee this morning. I am optimistic about the fruits of your
On October 19, 1982, more than 300 persons from throughout Indiana met on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University to discuss a crisis facing the state: the decline of mathematics and science education in the elementary and secondary schools. Participants at this conference came from a variety of occupations. Business, industry and labor leaders were there. Representatives from Indiana's legislative and executive branches participated. Scientists from Indiana's industries and research institutions were there, as were science, mathematics and education professors from more than 23 colleges and universities. Teachers and administrators from many of the state's school systems also participated. All of the participants agreed that the decline of mathematics and science education is a crisis affecting everyone in the state, but this was not just a convention to recognize that a problem exists. It was a working conference to determine possible solutions to this problem, solutions that would work for Indiana. Because the problem affects all sectors of society, a concerted effort by all sectors is needed for a solution. Business and industry must combine with government and education to combat the deterioration of science and mathematics education in Indiana. The participants at this conference stressed this need for cooperation and discussed a number of ways in which the separate sectors could work together. The conterence was organized into four panels to ensure generating specific inputs from each sector. Leaders from business, industry and labor comprised the first panel and reported on the specific effects this crisis has on the state's economy and how they are dealing with the problem. The second panel included leaders from Indiana's government who discussed the initiatives that could come from that sector and the problems they face in taking action against the crisis. The third panel included teachers and school administrators from the state. Because any action taken to improve the quality of mathematics and science education will necessarily involve the state's educators, these panelists emphasized ways in which Indiana's educators could be helped in their efforts to teach the state's youth, as well as ways in which more qualified teachers could be attracted into the profession. The fourth and last panel included representatives from the state's universities and technical colleges. It is these institutions that supply many of the skilled workers for the state and almost all of the state's teachers. If Indiana is to ensure enough skilled workers and qualified mathematics and science teachers to meet its needs, then these institutions must be helped in their work. This conference was only the first step in dealing with the crisis. Awareness of the problem was increased and possible actions were proposed. But any real solutions to the crisis will require the continued efforts of all involved. It is hoped that strong and effective actions be taken soon, and that all sectors of Indiana will work together until the problem is solved. Impetus for this conference came from a committee of educators at Indiana University who are greatly concerned about the decline of mathematics and science education in Indiana. The conference was organized by this committee and sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education at Indiana University and was funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and the Indiana Universtiy Foundation. Publication of this report was made possible through the generous support of the Delco Electronics Division of General Motors Corporation.
Facing the Crisis of Mathematics and Science Education in Indiana Elementary and Secondary
Business, Industry and Labor Perspectives on the Crisis
Government Perspectives on the Crisis
Public Schools Perspectives on the Crisis
Higher Education Perspectives on the Crisis