SMEC Mission Statement in the Graduate School Bulletin:
The aim of the center is to improve the quality of formal college and pre-college science and mathematics learning, instruction, materials, and curricula, as well as to promote informal and public science education. The center is addressing these issues by (1) drawing on the faculty resources of all of the appropriate schools and colleges within the University to develop and improve curricula and materials, and to explore the uses of new technologies in helping students to learn science and mathematics; (2) serving as a resource to elementary and secondary schools by designing and offering enrichment, development, and training programs for current and prospective pre-college science and mathematics teachers; and (3) developing joint ventures with local, state, national, and international science, mathematics and technology-related groups including universities and other nonprofit institutions, as well as private corporations.
The center serves as an umbrella for pre-college and informal science and mathematics education programs within the Boston University community Schools that are working with the center include: the College of Arts & Sciences, in which faculty members are engaged in science and mathematics curriculum development projects; the School of Education, which is recognized for its current science teacher training programs; the College of Communication, which awards a master’s degree in science and communication for science and technical writers; the College of Engineering, which conducts research and development in such areas as computer graphics; the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences which, in collaboration with the School of Education, awards a Master of Arts in Teaching for mathematics and science teachers; and other schools within the University whose faculty are interested in developing technology-mediated instruction and curriculum materials.
Current sources of national education funding support large-scale curriculum reform and materials development programs. However, studies suggest that many teachers do not know how to effectively use the materials that are already available. Therefore, other major programs focus on the professional growth of current precollege science and mathematics teachers, as well as the development of prospective new precollege science and mathematics teachers. Institutes, seminars, and programs have been offered through the center to attract more teachers to science and mathematics education and to update the knowledge and enhance the skills of those currently teaching science in the precollege setting. These activities also promote improved linkages between precollege teachers and University faculty in science, mathematics, and engineering.
The center has developed cooperative educational research and development projects with other local, state, and national resource centers and corporations. Examples of such organizations involved in science, mathematics, and technology education are: the New England Aquarium, the Boston Museum of Science, the Boston Children’s Museum, the Educational Development Center (EDC), the Technical Education Research Center (TERC), and the Concord Consortium.