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Open Access Finding and Preparing Teachers to Meet the Needs of U.S. Student Innovators in the Making

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This paper addresses a special subset of U.S. school students for whom innovation is innate and intuitive; they are the young innovators-in-the-making (YIITM). In considering these students, we need to ask several key questions. Are elementary and middle school teachers capable of keeping the innate, innovative desire burning in these young minds? Are teachers capable of nurturing youth who seek to understand the world around them in scientific terms? Are teachers inadvertently quenching the innate, innovative, and creative desire in these young minds? Do young minds strongly attracted to science and engineering have ambition and inclination beyond the comprehension of elementary and middle school teachers? Evidence provided in this paper from earlier research indicates that youth with an early interest in engineering and science may find their schoolteachers incapable of understanding and helping them. The question addressed at the end of the paper is: What is the best way to prepare teachers who can ultimately understand, develop, and encourage science- and engineering-oriented youth? Some policy issues are addressed, and several research hypotheses are proposed for future empirical investigation.

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Keywords: ACT AND SAT TESTS; FACILITIES AND RESOURCES IN SCHOOLS; PREPARING TEACHERS OF YOUNG INNOVATORS; TEACHER QUALITIFICATIONS; TEACHING YOUNG INNOVATORS; YOUNG SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING INNOVATORS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2017

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  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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