Teaching and Learning Integrated STEM: Using Andragogy to Foster an Entrepreneurial Mindset in the Age of Synthesis

In: STEM Education 2.0

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In this chapter, we explore the notion that the Age of Synthesis requires the amalgamation of knowledge and skills to develop working solutions to complex problems. We promoted the idea of teaching of integrated STEM to facilitate students’ development of the understanding of how to blend knowledge. Integrated STEM provides an opportunity to foster student awareness of how seemingly unrelated topics or domains are combined to solve problems. Further, through teaching integrated STEM, teachers can help students develop an array of 21st century skills, an entrepreneurial frame of mind, and a growth mindset. However, to effectively teach integrated STEM, teachers must shift their instruction to be student-centered and embrace the context of self-directed learning to allow the students to explore potential solutions as part of their learning. Therefore, in this chapter we argue for the shift from pedagogy to andragogy, the instructional approach in which students are provided with a problem to solve and are empowered to make the decisions about how to approach, develop, and test a solution. We close with some ideas for research and the implications of adopting integrated STEM on curricular and instructional decisions.

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