Kentucky Education Cabinet Secretary Virginia G. Fox, along with representatives of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), announced the results of an on-line survey among science teachers in public middle and high schools across Kentucky.
“The Kentucky Survey of Critical Technologies shines light on what appears to be a significant problem surrounding a disconnect between new, relevant applications of basic knowledge and their introduction into the P-12 learning enterprise,” said Secretary Fox. “This also represents a major contributing factor to Kentucky’s lack of an adequately prepared talent pool and entrepreneurial class to create and grow more innovation-driven companies that are so essential to our future.”
The study was designed to measure the awareness, familiarity, and plans for curriculum integration of 25 scientific and technological concepts that have been identified as areas of growth in Kentucky’s New Economy. Conducted by Horizon Research International, a Louisville-based firm retained by KSTC, and its foundation arm, Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation, the 81-page study compiled data from interviews with 241 educators. The project was also under contract with the Council on Postsecondary Education.
“I am delighted with the work of KSTC, and specifically with their study in the area of these scientific and high-tech concepts. While we can be proud that 69 percent of the surveyed teachers are currently teaching at least one of these concepts to their students, we can and must do better. Only 41 percent of the surveyed teachers are teaching three or more of these concepts,” said Secretary Fox.
The study asked teachers about their awareness and familiarity of five technology disciplines: biosciences, environmental and energy technologies, human health and development, information technology and communications, and materials science and advanced manufacturing. In these broad areas, 25 specific concepts or principles were more deeply examined to determine the knowledge level of the teachers, as well as how that knowledge was being imparted to their students.
The Kentucky Education Cabinet coordinates learning programs from K-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. For more information about our programs, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov or www.workforce.ky.gov , or call 502-564-6606.