SHATTERING MYTHS ASSOCIATED WITH STEM EDUCATION

ThinkerPlace
4 min readMay 8, 2021

STEM Education is a unique model of learning that focuses on the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is emerging as a popular new trend in the world of education. Due to the novelty of its teaching methodology which includes new ideas such as practical training, problem-solving activities, and critical analysis, this model is preferred as a more wholesome and thorough teaching structure.

HESITANCY OF PEOPLE

It is a well-known principle of the human psyche that we often tend to be wary of those things that we do not know about. The thoughtfully curated model of STEM Education has also fallen prey to this established principle of psychology.

While there is a sizable section of the society that believes that this model is beneficial, there is an equally large section that has conjured certain falsehoods about it and thus is reluctant to accept it. These misconceptions have generated in people’s mind primarily due to 3 factors:

  • They have seen the success of the previous educational model over the years and hence do not see the need to make a switch from it.
  • There is a lack of understanding about what the STEM model truly entails.
  • There are certain inhibitions among people to accept the practical and experimental culture that comes along with STEM education.

This unawareness about what the model propagates has led to a lot of fallacies being developed about STEM Education. Some of these have been discussed below, along with explanations that negate these misguided notions:

MYTH №1: It has led to confusion about teaching practices since no codified method for STEM Education exists.

This idea has originated due to the dynamic nature of the STEM Education model. The flexibility allowed has been misconstrued as a sign of this model not having a clear purpose or direction. However, this could not be farther away from the truth.

While it is true that STEM Education does not have a clear set of guidelines, the reason behind this is very astute. The model believes that learning should not be restricted within rigid boundaries imposed by rules and regulations. If a set of guidelines exists for education, students are taught only within its limits. Thus instead of having restrictive principles about how students are to be taught, the model chose to lay down the desired outcome from the teaching. It has established that skills of practical thinking, creative analysis, etc. have to be inculcated. However, instead of laying down codified guidelines for how this is to be done, STEM Education has chosen to allow educational institutions to create their own rules. Contrary to confusion, this feature of the STEM model has allowed fluidity in its standards and has granted institutions the discretion to make guidelines best suited for their conditions.

MYTH №2: The inclusion of STEM Education in the curriculum reduces the emphasis laid on the study of other subjects.

Simply because importance is awarded to one thing, it does not imply that the value of another has gone down. The same principle can be applied to counter the myth that the STEM model will reduce the importance awarded to other subjects. The model is merely concerned with improving the teaching methods of its foundational subjects and does not preach that only these be taught to students.

The subjects that comprise STEM have been selected due to their indispensable importance in every other field. Knowledge of these disciplines is vital for a student irrespective of which career path or vocation he chooses to undertake. The STEM model has recognized the enormous power wielded by these subjects and hence aims for a deeper and more profound understanding of them by the students.

MYTH № 3: The model can only be applied in the later stages of a student’s education.

This belief about STEM Education can be attributed to the fact that it is thought to be extremely complex and nuanced in its application. Most people thus harbour the idea that this model would be unsuitable for a young child, and is only directed towards older students.

In actuality, however, a child's journey towards STEM can begin from an age as early as 3 years. Though there will have to be a significant change in its form; the essence of STEM education can be included in a young child’s daily routine. This characteristic of the model is beneficial towards acclimating a child with the study culture and better prepares them for their future education.

MYTH №4: The STEM Education model only caters to intellectually gifted students.

One of the most crucial ideologies that are imbibed in the STEM model is that each student should be taught in a manner and at a pace that is suited to his capacity. It focuses on making education a highly personalized experience for each student. This ideology in itself negates the notion stated above.

In any STEM institution, special care is taken towards ensuring that every student can catch up with the concepts being taught. Thus, the model is highly inclusive of all types of students and does not differentiate between them based on intellectual prowess.

These are some of the common myths associated with STEM Education, which are ill-founded due to the reasons stated above. With an increase in awareness about STEM, people will gradually shed their inhibitions and adopt this beneficial model.

For more content on STEM Learning visit : https://thinkerplace.in/blogs/

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