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STE(A)M - Science Technology Engineering (Arts) & Mathematics

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics

This National STEM teaching strategy was endorsed by Australian Education Ministers on 11 December 2015: National STEM School Education Strategy 2016

After a sustained period of economic prosperity, Australia is facing some tough challenges. Slowing growth, declining real wages, falling productivity and end of the mining boom to name a few.

PWC 'A Smart Move' Report 2015 Businesses also have to come to terms with the monumental impact that digitisation and technology is having on business models, supply chains and customer behaviour.

  • 44% (or 5.1m) Australian jobs are at risk from digital disruption
  • Innovation and STEM education are key to future growth
  • $57.4bn increase in GDP if we shift just 1% of our workforce into STEM roles

Source: PWC 'A Smart Move' Report

With all of this, Australia needs to better position itself to compete in the global economy of the future. Source: http://www.pwc.com.au/stem.html

Before focusing on the next technology based 'Education Revolution' it is worth considering how much progress has been made following earlier research. Here is a thirty year old research paper * looking at student misconceptions about HEAT and TEMPERATURE.

*Research carried out by Erikson (1979,1980), Driver and Easley (1978), Tiberghien (Tiberghien and Barboux,1983), McDermott (Rosenquist, Popp and McDermott,1982a, 1982b)and Wiser (1985; in press) has revealed that students' conceptualization of thermal phenomena is quite different from the textbook account of the same phenomena and, like their misconceptions in mechanics, quite robust.

The following section, attempts to explain the persistence of an 'alternative framework' (misconceptions about heat) inadvertently sustained by both teachers and students:

We believe that this alternative [incorrect] framework [about 'heat] is resistant to change not only because it has strong intuitive appeal but because the theory to be learned is not compatible with it. Consequently the information presented in class tends to be either distorted so that it can fit into the students' framework or ignored because it does not make sense within this framework; in both cases, the students' initial system of beliefs is affected very little.

A more recent study suggest that in spite of the improved access to education and information in the digital age, nothing much has changed.

So, before launching your great new STE(A)M project, ask yourself the question:

Video 1. Will This Revolutionise Education?

Source: Designing Effective Multimedia for Physics Education.

So How Much Has Changed in Thirty Years?

We believe that in order to make the textbook theory accessible to the students, and in particular to induce the differentiation between heat and temperature, the content and manner of teaching must take the students' own framework into account. The lesson topics should be ones that will show students that their interpretation is not appropriate, because it leads to wrong or conflicting predictions. thirty year old research paper

National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026

The Federal Government has developed a comprehensive plan for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in Australia. This strategy was endorsed by Australian Education Ministers on 11 December 2015.

International research shows that building STEM capacity across the population is critical in helping to support innovation and productivity regardless of occupation or industry. Consistent with this research, industry surveys show that STEM literacy is increasingly becoming part of the core capabilities that Australian employers need.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has estimated that changing 1 per cent of Australia’s workforce into STEM-related roles would add $57.4 billion to GDP.

Source: National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026

Teaching Resources

STEM UK: www.stem.org.uk

teaching/stem/home.txt · Last modified: 07/04/2016/ 21:24 by