Eric.ed.gov – A New Equation: How Encore Careers in Math and Science Education Equal More Success for Students

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Shifts in the work force (both in education and more broadly) provide an opportunity to apply other creative approaches in the quest for more effective STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teaching. Increasingly, professionals change careers and explore new and varied professional opportunities, rather than remain in a single track for their entire careers, balancing work and life to create a career “lattice” rather than a career ladder. For instance, the percentage of veteran teachers who identify themselves as both “teaching” and “retired” shows a marked increase in the most recent (2007-08) federal Schools and Staffing Survey results. Schools recognize the value of employing retired teachers but haven’t undertaken the policy changes that would make extended flexible career options an enticing alternative to retirement. In addition, there is a great opportunity to mobilize STEM professionals from fields outside of education, individuals interested in taking on new roles or even wholly new encore careers after retirement. Such careers allow people to use their skills in new ways to serve society. Boomers seeking encore careers present a unique opportunity. This generation built the space program, started the environmental movement and sparked the technology age. Boomers make up the healthiest and wealthiest generation of retirement-aged folks the country has ever seen–and many of them are staying put during retirement because they are eager to give back to the communities where they have lived and worked. This paper highlights how boomers with various professional backgrounds can help improve how schools deliver science, technology, engineering and math education. The stories in this paper illustrate how three individuals–former teacher Rick Marquart, retired engineer Alan Cleland and former corporate executive Bob Abrams–are making that happen through innovative programs. (Contains 14 endnotes.) [Support for this report was provided by the Deerbrook Charitable Trust.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som lektor hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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