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US experiences with STEM education reform and implications for Asia

US experiences with STEM education reform and implications for Asia PurposeThe first indication that traditional lecture-style teaching is not very effective was provided by Dr Donald Bligh in the 1980s and 1990s. As empirical evidence about this fact has continued to accumulate, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the USA has undergone a significant change in emphasis away from lecture-based approaches in favor of systems emphasizing more interactive learning. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachA wide range of experimental research has employed the principles of scientific teaching to investigate the efficacy of an ever widening range of pedagogical methods. For STEM education, the most successful of these has been active learning.FindingsAt its core, active learning is a redesign of in-class activities to maximize interactivity and feedback through facilitated problem-solving environments. Although the efficacies of both scientific teaching and active learning have been verified in a wide range of empirical works, the dissemination of these platforms, in general, teaching has been slow, even in the USA.Research limitations/implicationsThe first significant impediment has been an overall lack of awareness coupled with general skepticism about alternative learning methods.Practical implicationsThis paper first reviews the education literature behind scientific teaching and active learning before reviewing some of the challenges to their implementation on an institutional level.Social implicationsThese challenges and known solutions are then applied to the European and East Asian contexts to examine why scientific teaching and active learning remain predominantly an American phenomenon.Originality/valueFor East Asian countries, the authors offer a commentary on how certain aspects of Confucian classroom culture may interact negatively with efforts to install scientific teaching and active learning systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Comparative Education and Development Emerald Publishing

US experiences with STEM education reform and implications for Asia

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2396-7404
DOI
10.1108/IJCED-10-2017-0026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe first indication that traditional lecture-style teaching is not very effective was provided by Dr Donald Bligh in the 1980s and 1990s. As empirical evidence about this fact has continued to accumulate, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the USA has undergone a significant change in emphasis away from lecture-based approaches in favor of systems emphasizing more interactive learning. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachA wide range of experimental research has employed the principles of scientific teaching to investigate the efficacy of an ever widening range of pedagogical methods. For STEM education, the most successful of these has been active learning.FindingsAt its core, active learning is a redesign of in-class activities to maximize interactivity and feedback through facilitated problem-solving environments. Although the efficacies of both scientific teaching and active learning have been verified in a wide range of empirical works, the dissemination of these platforms, in general, teaching has been slow, even in the USA.Research limitations/implicationsThe first significant impediment has been an overall lack of awareness coupled with general skepticism about alternative learning methods.Practical implicationsThis paper first reviews the education literature behind scientific teaching and active learning before reviewing some of the challenges to their implementation on an institutional level.Social implicationsThese challenges and known solutions are then applied to the European and East Asian contexts to examine why scientific teaching and active learning remain predominantly an American phenomenon.Originality/valueFor East Asian countries, the authors offer a commentary on how certain aspects of Confucian classroom culture may interact negatively with efforts to install scientific teaching and active learning systems.

Journal

International Journal of Comparative Education and DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 13, 2018

References