A conceptual framework for integrated STEM education

Todd R. Kelley, J. Geoff Knowles, International Journal of STEM Education, Feb 10, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The conceptual framework in this paper employs the metaphor of a pulley system whereby scientific, engineering and mathematical thinking lead to integrated educational approaches. The idea is to promote STEM and a metadiscipline offering "an integrated effort that removes the traditional barriers between these subjects, and instead focuses on innovation and the applied process of designing solution to complex contextual problems using current tools and technologies." The really interesting part of this paper, though, is the comparison between scientific and engineering methodologies. The paper also looks at the engineering perspective of technology as compared to that found in the humanities. These create tensions, and the model essentially uses a community of practice as the 'rope' to mediate between them and integrate the educational program.

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