Plenary Speaker Profile (2004-5)
Jay B. Labov
Senior Advisor for Education and Communication
National Research Council, Center for Education
Emerging Issues in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: National Perspectives and Local Implications

Undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is receiving increasing attention from state and national policymakers, legislators, and those who are responsible for overseeing programs in higher education. Increasingly, institutions of higher education are expected to become accountable for implementing programs in these disciplines that improve learning and academic opportunities for all undergraduates. STEM faculty in colleges and universities also are being asked to assume additional responsibilities for improving K-12 education through changes in teacher education and through partnerships with local schools.

This presentation will provide an overview of emerging issues in undergraduate education and highlight recommendations for education policy that have appeared in recent reports from the National Research Council and other policy organizations. Topics to be emphasized will include:

  • The impending impact of K-12 standards and the No Child Left Behind Act on science and mathematics on undergraduate education;
  • The role of introductory courses in the STEM disciplines;
  • The changing nature of teacher education and professional development for faculty in both K-12 and higher education; and
  • Assessment and accountability for teaching and learning

Jay Labov is Senior Advisor for Education and Communication in the National Research Council's Center for Education. He also has been the study director for the NRC reports, Evaluating and Improving Undergraduate Teaching in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (2003); Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools (2002); Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millennium (2000); Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (1999); Serving the Needs of Pre-College Science and Mathematics Education: Impact of a Digital National Library on Teacher Education and Practice (1999); and Developing a Digital National Library for Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education (1998). He has served as the Director of the Center's Committee on Undergraduate Science Education, and the Deputy Director for the Center for Education. Dr. Labov oversees the National Academy of Science's efforts to improve the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Prior to assuming his position at the NRC Dr. Labov was a member of the biology faculty for 18 years at Colby College (ME), where he taught courses in Introductory Biology, Topics in Neurobiology, Animal Behavior, Mammalian and Human Physiology, and Tropical Ecology.