By Raymond Chen
STEM, which literally stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is now more hated than ever—and there are many reasons to it. For example, the way that the four disciplines are taught by teachers around North America has been detrimental against the motivation for students to further pursue their path in these fields. This includes the implementation of continuous assessments, placing one student above the order in their comprehension of new ideas, thereby making the lower candidate feel less accomplished, and in turn discourages them by hinting at their apparent weakness in STEM. We all know that passion is best nourished during the younger years of our lives, and with teachers failing to approach certain topics in an engaging way, teachers will never be able to kindle the STEM-fire that lies in everyone's heart's core—a cataclysmic thought to ponder.
“The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.” -Seymour Papert
Of course, there is an infallible solution to our contemporary problem. Specifically, in order to solve this issue, students and teachers must cooperate in order to form a healthy learning environment whereby both parties are engaged—but how can this be done?
We should address the notion of using continual assessments in order to solidify knowledge and, ultimately, gain a better understanding of a certain STEM subject. While this will definitely work if the student is capable of comprehending the knowledge, a surplus of exams will only burn not only children but also high school students out, and even university students! Therefore, exams should be regulated in such a way that they are administered on a longer bases. But how will my students learn Chapter 7 of the chemical equilibrium process? Give him a project! Let him make videos teaching other children on YouTube the knowledge he has learned!
Let's take another example from Chemistry: people often learn the process of chemical reactions through doing countless questions, but can't we learn it more effectively through seeing the reaction actually happen? Of course, the converse of this idea is true: if everyone in your biology class hates dissecting frogs, then change to something else—because your appalled students will be traumatized by not the abundance of knowledge given to him through this experiment, but the dead frog itself.
Through all of these examples, I think you have a clear understanding both as a student and as a teacher in the problems with STEM teaching, and I hope this article has helped you as a person comprehend and attempt at making some changes in this matter.