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Editorial: The impact of place-based contextualised curriculum on student engagement and motivation in STEM education

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posted on 2022-01-28, 11:44 authored by Kathryn Holmes, Nathan Berger, Erin Mackenzie, Catherine Attard, PATRICK JOHNSONPATRICK JOHNSON, Olivia Fitzmaurice, Niamh O'Meara, Veronica Ryan
There is an imperative to educate our future citizens and STEM professionals, but at the same time in many countries, there are declining rates of STEM participation and achievement amongst our children in K-12 educational settings (Kennedy et al., 2014; Prendergast et al., 2014). How can we improve student engagement and motivation in STEM subjects? How can place-based contextualised approaches to teaching and learning improve teaching and learning in our schools? Many students see STEM subjects as abstract and disconnected from their lives, leading to disengagement and reduced levels of participation in STEM subjects in the senior years of formal schooling. Disengagement in STEM is related to factors such as self-efficacy, prior achievement, perceived levels of difficulty, interest, gender stereotypes and career aspirations (Britner and Pajares, 2006; Watt et al., 2012; Wang and Degol, 2013). Females often perceive STEM disciplines to be “male-oriented” and not focussed on societal benefits, leading them to disengage, particularly in subjects like engineering and computer science (Archer et al., 2013). Finding ways to challenge STEM stereotypes and to mediate the perceived difficulty of STEM subjects may help to address some of these barriers. Also, developing ways to improve interest in STEM subjects, so that students see the relevance and value of STEM in their lives, may improve STEM participation rates (Berger et al., 2020)

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Publication

Frontiers in Education;6:826656.

Publisher

Frontiers Media

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

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