Few STEM-capable students want to teach

Very few young people with strong math and science skills want to be teachers, according to ACT’s STEM Educator Pipeline report.

The proposed federal STEM Teacher Pathway program seeks to produce 100,000 new, high-quality math and science teachers in the next decade, notes ACT. But, of 1.3 million ACT test takers in 2012, only 0.25 percent who’ve picked a future occupation want to be math teachers; 0.06 percent want to be science teachers.

Of the 3,877 who wanted to be math or science teachers, only 2,502 met ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks in math or science.

Some college students interested in teaching might be persuaded to specialize in math or science, ACT predicts. But it will be harder to persuade math- and science-proficient students who aren’t considering teaching to change their career goals.

I’ve met Silicon Valley engineers who dream of becoming math teachers when they retire.  But it’s not easy to make that transition.

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