ERIC Number: EJ1096249
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Mitts, Charles R.
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v75 n6 p30-35 Mar 2016
The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) defines STEM as a new transdisciplinary subject in schools that integrates the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into a single course of study. There are three major problems with this definition: There is no consensus in support of the ITEEA definition of STEM education. There exists the conceptual conundrum of converting four major academic disciplines, each divisible into major subdivisions, into a single school course. And, activity-based learning has been omitted from the definition. Activity-based learning is the signature characteristic of technology and engineering education. While there does exist a national movement in support of the idea of STEM education, the failure to agree on what STEM is, why STEM is important, and how to implement STEM, means that since the emergence of STEM as an education concept approximately fifteen years ago, too few students are graduating from STEM programs in order to meet the demands of U.S. employers (Rothwell, 2014). The purpose of this article is to propose changes to the ITEEA definition of STEM; to include emphasis on learning activities, eliminate the conundrum of turning four subjects into one, and provide the basis for consensus among stake holders, by answering the question "Why STEM?"
Descriptors: STEM Education, Technology Education, Engineering Education, Intellectual Disciplines, Learning Activities, Magnet Schools, Problem Solving, Mathematics, Engineering, Physics
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.iteaconnect.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A