Rural STEM Education: Promising Strategies from Several California Counties

Dec 01, 2019 | by
  • Description

Since 2015, WestEd has provided research capabilities, technical assistance, and evaluation support for the California Partnership for Math and Science Education (the Partnership), a statewide initiative designed to increase access to high-quality math and science teaching and learning.

Through this ongoing work, WestEd has supported two communities of practice, one each for math and science, as well as work conducted by teams of education leaders collaborating to support math and science standards implementation and improve education and learning outcomes.

This brief provides information on rural education concerns that are found across the state of California and presents examples of rural California counties' strategies for supporting math and science standards implementation.

Key takeaways emerged from WestEd's study of this statewide initiative, chief among them that:

  • While distance means that many rural regions have significant barriers to meaningful collaboration, technology and targeted investments in face time offer improved opportunities for teamwork.
  • Some rural areas in California have been able to amplify their professional learning efforts by distributing leadership and responsibilities, and by thinking critically about ways that educators in different grade levels can learn from one another.
  • Many of the promising strategies highlighted in the brief can be adapted and replicated at relatively low cost.