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Spotlight Report 2: Implementing an Integrated STEM Education in Schools - Five Key Questions Answered

As a professor of science education, Education Futures director, Deborah Corrigan, is regularly asked about STEM education, its impact, and how we can do it better. For this Spotlight Report, she has examined over 200 research articles, books and reports on STEM education to collate the research evidence and offer answers to five key questions on STEM education.

This report responds to five common questions about STEM education:

  • What is STEM education?
  • Why is STEM education important?
  • How do we include STEM education in school education?
  • What impact is STEM education likely to have on students?
  • What will be the indicators of success of STEM education?

STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – is not well understood by society, institutions, politicians, or individuals. Many see it as a collection of individual disciplines, each requiring traditional specialised study. Professionals working in STEM tend to define their disciplines with reference to professional practice competencies such as problem-solving, communications, ethics and experiments – competencies that also exist in many non-STEM disciplines. But while innovation and problem-solving are not unique to STEM disciplines, they are fundamentally embedded in STEM education.

Many governments around the world emphasise the economic imperatives of STEM and the need for a pipeline of future STEM workers. But there is also an educational imperative for STEM education if we are to respond to global economic, technological and environmental challenges. Everyone needs to be STEM literate, not just those in the STEM workforce.

This report focuses on different pedagogical approaches to introducing an integrated STEM education, the benefits to students, and the importance of supporting teachers with professional learning that builds confidence and content knowledge, and improves classroom practice. It suggests that new assessment practices are needed to measure the more intangible skills developed through integrated STEM education, such as problem-solving, creativity, communication and team work. It is also clear that traditional notions of classrooms, with their emphasis on teacher-centred approaches to learning, need rethinking.

Download the full report: Implementing an Integrated STEM Education in Schools – Five Key Questions Answered

Download the Research Brief

Watch the launch event: National Science Week STEMinar: Shining the spotlight on the future of STEM education

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Spotlight Report 2: Implementing an Integrated STEM Education in Schools - Five Key Questions Answered

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