媒体法语会带我们一道学学 BBC 撰稿人在通信世界大事时常使用的单词和短语。
The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM.
A teacher and children in a classroom
House prices are steady, unemployment has dropped, recession has been avoided. This was not meant to happen
Why are some schools in Asia top of the class for learning？
Science is more than a school subject
整个世界最大局面包车型大巴学府排行刚刚发布，亚洲江山攻下排名前五名，欧洲国家排在末尾。新加坡共和国居头名，东方之珠紧随其后，加纳排在最终一人。以下是 Sean Coughlan 的通信。
Jan 15, 2018 | By C.W.
“[Science]“[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world..."
It‘s claimed if you want to see the economy of tomorrow look at the school system of today。 And that’s going to be good news for some Asian countries with the world‘s highest performing education systems。
CHAOS was predicted. Following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) in June 2016, most economists believed that a recession was imminent. A government study published in the run-up to the referendum forecast that house prices would fall quickly, by up to a fifth, and that unemployment would rise by over 800,000. But there has been no recession. It is true that Britain has slipped down the international league tables of GDP growth since the Brexit vote, but growth in both 2016 and 2017 still averaged around 2%, roughly similar to 2015. Furthermore, house prices are steady and unemployment has dropped to a 42-year low of 4.3%. Disaster has been avoided. What went right?
— President Barack Obama, March 23, 2015
Here in Singapore， teenagers are at the top of the biggest ever global comparison of ability in maths and science。 The country has worked hard to create a workforce ready for the global economy。 Using English as the teaching language and investing in keeping its teachers skills up to date。
The concept underlying the blood-curdling predictions before the referendum was “uncertainty”. No one has the foggiest idea about what Britain’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU will look like. Economists worried that heightened uncertainty would prompt households to rein in their spending and businesses to put investment plans on hold. With the benefit of hindsight this looks naive. Leave voters got what they wanted, so why should they cut back on spending? And for Remainers, Brexit remains some way off: the country’s status within the customs union in 2020 is a distant worry for the average Briton. Meanwhile, Britain remains an attractive place for foreign investors, in part because of its trusted legal system and low rate of corporation tax.
Yet today, few American students pursue expertise in STEM fields—and we have an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects. That’s why President Obama has set a priority of increasing the number of students and teachers who are proficient in these vital fields.
The league tables also show a strong performance by schools in Hong Kong in second place， South Korea third and Japan in fourth place。 And there are some surprises – Vietnam another Asian success story – comes twelfth – racing past the United States in 29th position。
The global economy has also helped. The Brexit vote coincided with the beginning of the first worldwide economic upswing in years. Global trade volumes have grown decently, despite Donald Trump’s scary rhetoric. Firms from Seattle to Shanghai have recovered some of their animal spirits and are willing to invest once again. Britain, an economy highly dependent on international trade, has been swept along with everyone else. And the country’s exporters have been given an extra boost by the depreciation of sterling, which is almost 10% below its pre-vote level. In the past year real-terms exports have risen by a tenth, though the British trade deficit remains in line with its post-financial-crisis average.
All young people should be prepared to think deeply and to think well so that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world, both today and tomorrow. But, right now, not enough of our youth have access to quality STEM learning opportunities and too few students see these disciplines as springboards for their careers.expand/collapse
US needs STEM
For example, we know that only 81 percent of Asian-American high school students and 71 percent of white high school students attend high schools where the full range of math and science courses are offered (Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry, and physics). The access to these courses for American Indian, Native-Alaskan, black, and Hispanic high school students are significantly worse. Children’s race, zip code, or socioeconomic status should never determine their STEM fluency. We must give all children the opportunity to be college-ready and to thrive in a modern STEM economy.
We also know that only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career. Even among those who do go on to pursue a college major in the STEM fields, only about half choose to work in a related career. The United States is falling behind internationally, ranking 29th in math and 22nd in science among industrialized nations. What’s more, a recent survey revealed that only 29 percent of Americans rated this country’s K-12 education in STEM subjects as above average or the best in the world. In our competitive global economy, this situation is unacceptable.
But some countries are less impressive。 Sweden， which used to be among the most successful， has declined sharply。
The question is whether this unexpectedly good performance can continue. As Britain’s departure from the EU in March 2019 nears, businesses may start to get more jittery, especially if they fear that a deal with the EU will not be reached. If investment spending is cut, then consumers will eventually start to feel the pinch. And Brexit itself, which is likely to leave Britain with severely reduced access to its largest export market, will have profoundly negative long-term economic consequences. For now, however, the British economy continues to sail blissfully into the unknown.
President Obama has articulated a clear priority for STEM education: within a decade, American students must "move from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math." The Obama Administration also is working toward the goal of fairness between places, where an equitable distribution of quality STEM learning opportunities and talented teachers can ensure that all students have the chance to study and be inspired by science, technology, engineering, and math—and have the chance to reach their full potential.
Specifically, the President has called on the nation to develop, recruit, and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next 10 years. He also has asked colleges and universities to graduate an additional 1 million students with STEM majors.
These improvements in STEM education will happen only if Hispanics, African-Americans, and other underrepresented groups in the STEM fields—including women, people with disabilities, and first-generation Americans—robustly engage and are supported in learning and teaching in these areas.
But what‘s the point of these league tables？ Are they just about creating a global report card with some countries passing and some failing？ While these league tables show how schools are performing now， their purpose is to create an economic road map for the future。
The Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM), comprised of 13 agencies—including all of the mission-science agencies and the Department of Education—are facilitating a cohesive national strategy, with new and repurposed funds, to increase the impact of federal investments in five areas: 1.) improving STEM instruction in preschool through 12th grade; 2.) increasing and sustaining public and youth engagement with STEM; 3.) improving the STEM experience for undergraduate students; 4.) better serving groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields; and 5.) designing graduate education for tomorrow's STEM workforce.
Coordinated efforts to improve STEM education are outlined in the federal, 5-year Strategic Plan for STEM Education and concentrate on improving the delivery, impact, and visibility of STEM efforts. Additionally, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution are leading efforts to improve outcomes for traditionally underrepresented groups.
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