Article | Last updated: 2014-03-10 | Ministry of Education and Research
A substantial promotion of Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) to meet society’s needs can only be achieved through close collaboration between all the parties involved, where both education and working life jointly contribute to increased recruitment and high competence.
The Strategic Plan A Joint Promotion of Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) is to be an instrument for everyone who is to be part of strengthening MST in Norway.The field of MST is a diverse one where the elements have much in common. The Strategic Plan designates areas that should and must be strengthened.
Many parties wish to take part in this process, and everyone must contribute to the joint promotion and stronger efforts. The Strategic Plan is valid for 2006-2009 and to carry it out there will be annual plans describing the measures to be implemented.
Some of the main areas of the Strategy are:
- Increased recruitment and improved quality in MST education, amongst other things by establishing student projects for inclusion, recruitment to MST and social diversity.
- National forum for MST in working life and education, to which the Government wishes to invite representatives from business and industry, the social partners, the education sector and relevant voluntary organisations to participate in a more systematic way in a dialogue with the educational system about MST competence.
- Local collaboration and interaction between trade and industry and education is also necessary, both with regards to schools and higher education.
- Increased number of periods in mathematics and natural sciences in primary and secondary education.
- The Knowledge Promotion, introduced in the autumn of 2006, contributes to both clearly stated knowledge objectives in primary and lower secondary school and better coherence between primary and lower secondary education and upper secondary education and training.
- Competence development in MST for teachers and kindergarten staff. In connection with the introduction of the Knowledge Promotion considerable funds have been allocated, with mathematics and natural sciences being top priority subjects. The Ministry has allocated NOK 50 million a year in competence development funds for kindergarten staff, with guidelines for special efforts in the new subject area called Number, Space and Shape.
- Development programme for good learning and working methods in MST, including practical working methods and use of ICT.
The Strategic Plan is to apply to the whole of the period of 2006-2009. After this time, a evaluation will be necessary to see whether efforts are to continue and in which areas.
An Action Plan will be made each year to help achieve the partial objectives. These annual plans are part of the total Strategy.
MST competence is a key component forming the basis for our welfare. We have every reason to believe that MST will assume new and even greater importance in the future. We must combat new diseases and new threats. We must give a growing world population access to energy.
The MST subjects provide a basis for innovation and restructuring and are widely demanded of many employees in Norwegian trade and industry. The way society is developing means that the population must have relevant knowledge and the competence needed by trade and industry.
MST competence is also necessary if we want to be able to function in a modern society and to take part in democratic processes. Besides, a good knowledge of MST can help us understand more of the world around us as a source of increased awareness, understanding and enjoyment of our surroundings.
One of the challenges we are facing today is that many young people do not see how or for what purpose MST competence is to be used. The significance and use of MST must therefore be made clearer and more relevant.
An important instrument for achieving this is good interaction between education and working life and between research and trade and industry. By building bridges between these areas we can increase knowledge, understanding and relevance for the pupils and thus create an important foundation for increasing recruitment to MST at all levels.
It is not least important to increase the motivation of girls to study MST. Girls tend to choose higher education and professions in these subjects less often than boys.
The Norwegian Centre for Mathematics in Education coordinates work on developing research-based working methods and examples of material. The Centre contributes to good progression and coherence in the whole of the education system and contributes to the dissemination of information and experiences.
The Norwegian Centre for Contact with Working Life for Recruitment to MST (Norwegian acronym RENATE) is to attend to contact between the educational sector and working life at national and regional levels and to ensure recruitment to MST studies and increased percentage of female participation.
The Norwegian Centre for Natural Sciences in Education is to develop and improve contents and methods in the teaching of natural sciences through research, experimental and development projects. The Centre is also to contribute to increased competence in and motivation for natural science among pupils and teachers and contribute to the dissemination of information and experiences.