With increased focus on STEM and STEAM initiatives and the growing popularity of problem- and project-based learning opportunities, schools are always looking for best practices for successful implementation. Perhaps the answers are closer to home than originally thought; local career and technical centers are regional experts in the area of real-world educational opportunities as well as STEM and STEAM initiatives. Within Career and Technical Education (CTE) are tenets that transform the learning environment and maximize student engagement and achievement. How can regular/academic education leverage these tenets to reap similar outcomes? This conversation will focus on the way CTE uses six key components differently than their regular education counterparts. By using some of the strategies used by CTE, regular education can increase student engagement which drives student achievement. The six components are best characterized as student voice and choice, appropriately structured problem and project based learning, literacy and numeracy integration, focus on growth mindset/productive struggle, knowledge acquisition through competency based learning/scaffolded skill development, and trust in students. The conversation will focus on how these strategies are used successfully in CTE settings and conversation groups will construct the ways that these tenets can be employed successfully in the regular/academic setting. Facilitated by two converts-to-CTE (from regular education), the conversation will share unique perspectives from both sides of the secondary educational experience.
Participants will have access to a brief slide deck (<10 slides) and then will share their perspectives on the topic via Padlet. The Padlet will allow for idea sharing and networking opportunities for participants. The Padlet will be divided into the six components being shared by the facilitators so that participants may collect materials most relevant to their own practice.