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The Future of STEM Curriculum and Instructional Design: A Research and Development Agenda for Learning Designers


In 2009-10 a series of Workshops was organized to focus on STEM learning design for young students and adolescents. The objective was to provide visionary leadership to the education community by: (a) identifying and analyzing the needs and opportunities for future STEM curriculum development and instructional design given current and emerging technologies; and, (b) recommend policy positions and actions by funding agencies and the STEM research and development community regarding STEM instructional resources. Specific questions addressed included:
  • What will a high-impact, technology-intensive STEM learning environment look like in the near and long-term future?

  • What materials development and research are required to make this vision possible?

  • What design, development, and diffusion processes are most likely to produce new approaches to STEM education?

To address these questions, two workshops were convened to identify and analyze the needs and opportunities for innovative work. The goal was to identify strategies, directions and recommendations about the future of STEM instructional design. Participants included education futurists, researchers in the STEM content and education disciplines and specialists in instructional technology, cognitive psychology, policy, museum and educational media (see Appendix for complete list of Workshop participants).