STEM Education: An Emerging Field of Inquiry


The second decade of the 21st century has seen governments and industry globally intensify their focus on the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as a vehicle for future economic prosperity. Economic opportunities for new industries that are emerging from technological advances, such as those emerging from the field of artificial intelligence also require greater capabilities in science, mathematics, engineering and technologies. In response to such opportunities and challenges, government policies that position STEM as a critical driver of economic prosperity have burgeoned in recent years. Common to all these policies are consistent messages that STEM related industries are the key to future international competitiveness, productivity and economic prosperity.
This book presents a contemporary focus on significant issues in STEM teaching, learning and research that are valuable in preparing students for a digital 21st century. The book chapters cover a wide spectrum of issues and topics using a wealth of research methodologies and methods ranging from STEM definitions to virtual reality in the classroom; multiplicative thinking; STEM in pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education, opportunities and obstacles in STEM; inquiry-based learning in statistics; values in STEM education and building academic leadership in STEM.
The book is an important representation of some of the work currently being done by research-active academics. It will appeal to academics, researchers, teacher educators, educational administrators, teachers and anyone interested in contemporary STEM Education related research in a rapidly changing globally interconnected world.

Contributors are: Natalie Banks, Anastasios (Tasos) Barkatsas, Amanda Berry, Lisa Borgerding, Nicky Carr, Io Keong Cheong, Grant Cooper, Jan van Driel, Jennifer Earle, Susan Fraser, Noleine Fitzallen, Tricia Forrester, Helen Georgiou, Andrew Gilbert, Ineke Henze, Linda Hobbs, Sarah Howard, Sylvia Sao Leng Ieong, Chunlian Jiang, Kathy Jordan, Belinda Kennedy, Zsolt Lavicza, Tricia Mclaughlin, Wendy Nielsen, Shalveena Prasad, Theodosia Prodromou, Wee Tiong Seah, Dianne Siemon, Li Ping Thong, Tessa E. Vossen and Marc J. de Vries.

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Anastasios (Tasos) Barkatsas is a Senior Academic in Mathematics and Statistics Education and a Quantitative Data Analyst at the School of Education, RMIT University, Australia and has published more than 100 refereed papers, chapters and books. Tasos is the also Series Editor of the Brill|Sense Publishers Series Global Education in the 21st Century.
Nicky Carr is a Senior Lecturer and Program Manager of the Bachelor of Education programs at the School of Education, RMIT University, Australia. Her background, and interests in the role of technology and teacher education have recently coalesced to focus on pre-service teachers' conceptualisation and actualisation of STEM Education.
Grant Cooper is a Lecturer in Science and STEM education at RMIT University, Australia. He is an educator, researcher, learner and maker. His research interests include the examination of emerging STEM education discourses, pre-service teacher preparation of STEM-related literacies/perceptions and how digital technologies such as VR have the potential to transform teaching and learning spaces.
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: STEM Education: An Emerging Field of Inquiry
Tasos Barkatsas, Nicky Carr and Grant Cooper

1 What Is in an Acronym? Experiencing STEM Education in Australia
Sharon Fraser, Jennifer Earle and Noleine Fitzallen
2 Delivering STEM Education through School-Industry Partnerships: A Focus on Research and Design
Jan H. Van Driel, Tessa E. Vossen, Ineke Henze and Marc J. de Vries
3 Reading STEM as Discourse
Kathy Jordan
4 Implementing Virtual Reality in the Classroom: Envisaging Possibilities in STEM Education
Grant Cooper and Li Ping Thong
5 Multiplicative Thinking: A Necessary STEM Foundation
Dianne Siemon, Natalie Banks and Shalveena Prasad
6 Possibilities and Potential with Young Learners: Making a Case for STEAM Education
Andrew Gilbert and Lisa Borgerding
7 Inquiry-Based Learning in Statistics: When Students Engage with Challenging Problems in STEM Disciplines
Theodosia Prodromou and Zsolt Lavicza
8 Investigating Macau Secondary Students’ Valuing in Mathematics Learning:
Chunlian Jiang, Wee Tiong Seah, Tasos Barkatsas, Sylvia Sao Leng Ieong and Io Keong Cheong
9 Perspectives on STEM Education in Preservice Primary Teacher Education
Wendy Nielsen, Helen Georgiou, Sarah Howard and Tricia Forrester
10 Primary Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of STEM Education: Conceptualisations and Psychosocial Factors
Grant Cooper and Nicky Carr
11 Building STEM Self-Perception and Capacity in Pre-Service Science Teachers through a School-University Mentor Program
Amanda Berry, Tricia McLaughlin and Grant Cooper
12 Building Academic Leadership in STEM Education
Tricia McLaughlin and Belinda Kennedy
13 Epilogue: What Now for STEM?
Linda Hobbs
The book will appeal to academics, researchers, teacher educators, educational administrators, teachers and anyone interested in contemporary STEM Education related research in a rapidly changing globally interconnected world.