A real-life context for teaching refers to the way the tasks will be introduced. STEMkey uses real-life context problems as a starting point by referencing problems embedded in real-life situations and everyday activities (Stylianides & Stylianides, 2008).
Problems embedded in real-life situations have no ready-made algorithm, are non-routine, open-ended, and include social dimensions (L. P. Cheng, 2013). We believe that these questions allow students to apply their knowledge in realistic contexts and complex problems that deepen their understanding of each discipline and help them transfer knowledge across disciplines and to a skills level. Also, finding solutions in these real-life contexts allows learners to develop attitudes with regards to their solutions and in how far these solutions meet e.g. societal, or environmental needs.
Cheng, L.P. (2013). The design of a mathematics problem using real-life context for young children.
Stylianides, A.J. & Stylianides, G.J. (2008). Studying the classroom implementation of tasks: High-level mathematical tasks embedded in ‘real-life’ contexts? Teaching and Teacher Education, 24 (4) (2008), pp. 859-875