Is The Focus on STEM Education Ignoring What It Is Terri Wattawa

A hot topic in the field of education is STEM learning. It is designed to help students get a better understanding in some of the most important subjects that employers are hoping students have thoroughly learned when they enter the workforce. But how exactly does STEM learning mean and is it the best way to prepare students? This question and many more will be answered. The following questions will be investigated:


  • What Is STEM Learning?
  • Can STEM Apply To Other Subjects?
  • What Needs To Change To Better Utilize STEM Learning?


What Is STEM Learning?

The acronym STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These four core subjects are seen as some of the most desirable skill sets for students as these are the fields that are most rapidly hiring and in need of these areas of expertise. STEM learning focuses heavily on these four subjects and builds a curriculum around their applications into everyday life. STEM focuses on problem solving rather than basic teaching methods which involve giving examples and then simply repeating the examples over and over again until the topic has been learned. STEM is seen by many to be the educational guide to the future.


Can STEM Apply To Other Subjects?

Many believe that although STEM focuses heavily on the sciences, it can also be applied to other subjects. Writing is a perfect example of this. STEM requires new questions to constantly be asked and for improvements to be made over time. Similarly, students can constantly question their writing styles and improve upon them over time by proofreading and editing previous mistakes.


What Needs To Change To Better Utilize STEM Learning?
So what can schools do in order to foster an environment where STEM learning is more effective and can help reach a greater number of students? Many proponents of STEM claim that standardized testing needs to go in order to help STEM flourish. Standardized testing typically promotes teaching to a test while STEM promotes teaching a process that will allow students to solve many problems on their own. As schools continue to adopt standardized tests as a means to benchmark their students, STEM learning can be placed on the back burner. The great thing about STEM is that a product of its implementation is naturally higher test scores but it must be implemented properly.