Students’ Readiness for STEM Learning within the Context of National Education Reform [PDF]

Rita Birzina, Tamara Pigozne, Dagnija Cedere
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education nowadays becomes more and more topical; however, students’ performance in these subjects is rather low and only a small part of them decide to study these sciences therefore it is important to rouse students’ interest in these subjects already at school. It is important to acquire not only the knowledge of the subject but also the transversal skills, thus, the organization of the teaching/learning process becomes more significant. Schools of Latvia start implementing the teaching/learning content and approach that correspond to the new standards of basic and general secondary education, which incorporates four innovative aspects in the science domain: the promotion of the content acquisition through teachers’ reciprocal collaboration; the use of ICT (Information Communication Technologies) as a platform for engineering technological solutions; learning through doing and engagement in discussions and other activities for making socially responsible decisions. The aim of the study is to find out students’ readiness to learn STEM in the context of innovative approaches of the national education reform. To reach the aim, the research question was set – to what extent and in which way are students ready to learn STEM? Using the QuestionPro e-platform, 257 students of Latvian general comprehensive schools were surveyed and the meta-analysis of factors of thematically respective selected questions was performed. The obtained empirical results were compared with the four aspects of the innovative approach pertaining to the education reform in the science domain. The study resulted in isolating main four factors: the course of the teaching/learning process, the feedback, the use of ICT and technologies little used in the acquisition STEM. The found factors comprised all the innovations of the science domain put forward by the national education reform, which means that students already at the pre-reform stage are ready to acquire STEM subjects in an innovative way.
Keywords: innovation, national education reform, readiness, secondary school students, STEM learning.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3