The focus of traditional STEM education at school is on the delivery of fundamental subject knowledge like functions, human anatomy and chemical reactions. Learners’ skills to apply gained knowledge and attitudes to set it in context with their life and societal decision-making processes have not been sufficiently nurtured likewise. Consequently, future STEM teachers have to be empowered to deliver knowledge on fundamental STEM topics without neglecting skills and attitudes of their future students at school. STEMkey has been launched to provide solutions to support the Commission’s key competence initiative in the scope of STEM education.
Our objective is to transform (future) STEM teachers’ grasp of teaching standard topics. To achieve that, we will reshape the delivery of fundamental STEM subject knowledge in the context of key competence development. Future teachers need to understand the relation between knowledge, skills and attitudes, how they affect each other and how they have an effect on their students’ learning experience and personal life. They also need to see that STEM subjects are relevant to our lives and our societies and that they are linked to each other.
To achieve this objective, we develop teaching modules to be used in HE programmes for future STEM teachers, covering all STEM disciplines and exemplarily dealing with topics from each discipline (e.g. light representing physics education, algorithms representing informatics or the periodic system representing chemistry). Each module applies various tested and proven innovative educational approaches, such as digital learning or real-life contextualisation.
As STEMkey places a strong focus on establishing and nourishing a strong strategic partnership, network options play an important role.
Although responsibility for Higher Education rests within the EU Member States, cooperation in this field is imperative. Fundamental STEM topics across Europe are alike: chemical reactions, functions, anatomy, etc. are taught in each country. Jointly rethinking traditional teaching contents is a challenging process, as decades of teaching tradition have to be examined with impartiality and new creativity but without losing sight of experience. Transnational cooperation adds value to the actual reshaping process as we can view the various STEM topics from many angles and consequently enrich each teaching module.
Naturally, cross-border collaboration during the output production process and evaluation results, stemming from a multi-country perspective, help us to design each module as universally applicable as possible (across different contexts, cultures and political systems).
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We address the following main target user groups: