AbstractAbundant research conducted in many countries has underlined the critical role of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in developing human capital in fields important to a nation’s global competiveness and prosperity. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, recent long-term policy plans emphasize the ever-increasing need of transition to a knowledge-based economy and preparing highly qualified nationals with credentials in STEM fields to meet the current and future needs of the labor market. Yet, despite multiple educational reforms and substantial resources, national and international indicators of student performance still demonstrate insignificant improvement in GCC students’ achievement in STEM subjects. Demonstrably, the GCC youth still lack interest in STEM careers and represent low enrollment rates in STEM fields. This paper presents the results of a systematic review conducted on STEM education research in GCC countries. The review seeks to contribute to the body of the existing STEM literature, explore the factors influencing student participation in STEM, and identify the gaps in STEM education research in those countries.
Disenfranchisement of indigenous Pacific voices from STEM limits self-determination and the development of Pacific-led solutions to regional challenges. To counteract this trend, Chaminade University's Inclusive Excellence program delivers culturally-sustaining STEM education focused on sense of belonging and family/community engagement. It seeks to authentically enculturate curriculum, pedagogy, and practice to privilege and separate Western and indigenous epistemologies and to provide deeply immersive non-academic support. This chapter discusses the imperatives for sustained, system-wide commitment to culture-based STEM education, theoretical and cultural frameworks guiding this paradigm, examples of IE program processes and practices, and a review of outcomes. Finally, next level challenges are considered: student experiences in structurally racist systems beyond the Pacific support bubble, tensions between providing opportunity and perpetuation of regional talent drains, and the implications of asking young scientists to balance cultural and professional identities.
Early STEM education has a great potential to support children’s development in constructing their own knowledge, in designing, discussing and testing ideas and finding solutions to different problems. Significant role in achieving the goals of STEM education is played by the teacher, who scaffolds the learning process, builds a creative learning environment, provokes children with open questions and guides them to test their hypothesis as young scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technology users. Preschool teachers’ knowledge and perspectives could seriously influence their practices in STEM education and respectively, the fulfilment of STEM learning outcomes. It is very important to explore in depth teachers’ views and experiences thus to plan and provide appropriate courses for their academic preparation or continuous professional development. While reviewing some popular misconceptions for STEM education amongst teachers, this paper presents the results of pre- and post-interviews conducted with teachers from Bulgaria in the framework of the European multilateral Erasmus+ project №2018-1-TR01-KA203-059568 “STEM for Pre-schoolers and Their Families” (PARENTSTEM) (2018–2021). The overall goal of this project was to increase family involvement in the STEM education process of early childhood children specifically coming from low socio-economic status. As a part of this goal implementation, the project aimed to extend conceptual and pedagogical knowledge of early childhood teachers on STEM. In the frame of the project the preschool teachers-participants in the study were provided with three teacher trainings (two international and one national) and were additionally supported with the intellectual outputs of the project. This paper attempted to identify teachers’ preliminary knowledge, awareness and attitudes towards STEM conceptualization and pedagogy and to describe the relative influence of the project teacher trainings and activities on them. The results of the research unambiguously demonstrated the need for training of preschool teachers in terms of STEM education, outlining the main focuses to be considered when constructing STEM courses intended for preschool teachers.
This article describes how a focus on outcomes can be a tool for guiding systemic change. By focusing on positive outcomes to be achieved, a group can guide its collective efforts toward an ideal future rather than becoming fixated on individual problems to solve. While there is support for an outcome-guided approach in the literature on individual and organizational change, this approach has not been used extensively to support department-level changes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.