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How does STEM education work?

1 year 1 month ago - 1 year 1 month ago #158 by PABlo
In the field of education, a report in 2005 by the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, emphasized the links between prosperity, knowledge-intensive jobs dependent on science and technology, and continued innovation to address societal problems. As a result, STEM education became the core focus of the national curriculum for many countries to achieve the goal of building and maintaining prosperity via developing their human capital into a productive workforce.

Why do Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics matter in education?

The elements within STEM education can be defined as

Science: the systematic study of the nature and behavior of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms

Technology: the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.

Engineering: the art or science of applying the knowledge of pure sciences, such as physics or chemistry, as in the construction of engines, bridges, buildings, mines, ships, and chemical plants.

Mathematics: a group of related sciences, including algebra, geometry, and calculus, concerned with the study of number, quantity, shape, and space and their interrelationships by using a specialized notation.

STEM education not only brings knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but it also always brings the following three major skill sets embedded in Science and Mathematics:
  1. logic – a strict principle of validity
  2. reasoning – thinking sensibly
  3. problem-solving – finding solutions to complex issues
all of which is a basic need for humans in the 21st Century.

Another benefit of the STEM education is the usage of the Problem-based learning method which involves utilizing knowledge by:
  • Designing, developing, and utilizing technological systems
  • Open-ended, problem-based design activities
  • Cognitive, manipulative, and effective learning strategies
  • Applying technological knowledge and processes to real-world experiences using up-to-date resources
  • Working individually as well as in a team to solve problems

It's becoming quite clear that STEM education in the 2020s does not purely rely on the textbook knowledge on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but is there a way of bringing ‘philosophy of science’ and scientific method of seeking and obtaining knowledge into a teaching and curriculum which can be applied with almost any subject?

That's the question, and the answers will be coming from those students, who have in-depth knowledge, are able to think critically, can form ordered and coherent arguments, fully understand implications, and who will be presenting their ideas and communicating their reasoned explanations, as they are innovating and/or invigorating every discipline, in every field of endeavor, in all of the various pursuits of knowledge, and by doing so --becoming enabled to be future "Agents of Change".

Please share your thoughts about this, in the discussion thread below.

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