Never Underestimate the Role of Parents in STEM Education Outcomes

As a parent of young children, I am keenly aware of the importance of setting a good example for my children. But add the daily grind of life and well, it is normal for even well-meaning parents to not reach those high standards all the time.

Here is an interesting article about a perceived negative impact of parents on STEM outcomes. In particular, because of parents’ biases or negative experiences in STEM when they were growing up, they influence negatively the choices of their children. The highlighted survey revealed that:

  • Rather than support their children in their STEM studies, they defer to Google.
  • One quarter of the survey participants admitted that their own lack of confidence in the subjects negatively effected their children’s progress

So, what should be done? Awareness is important for parents to be mindful of the impacts they may be having. However, resources and efforts to support parents are lacking. And I would never discourage parents from Googling for support as this is such an important gateway for exactly those resources that parents desperately need.