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What pedagogical strategies do middle years science teachers use to engage students in order to enhance critical thinking and nurture scientific temperament?

Capacity to discuss, organise and synthesise material in a logical manner, including the development of sound arguments, and appropriate links between ideas and concepts.

Critical Presentation of existing knowledge, theory and views related to the topic area, as well as the research methodology and research context.

Importance of STEM

Club together Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in an interdisciplinary fashion, add some innovative methods of teaching beyond the books and what we have in our hands will be a class learning with the help of STEM. At the turn of the previous century, the four components of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) served as the foundation of the development of Industrial revolution (Ross, 2016). During the previous century STEM subjects were productive subjects for the students that were seeking for skills to earn their livelihood, it indeed was an important stream of education. Under the schemes of STEM they were incorporating scientific theories along with the real world applications; they were also introducing Pedagogical practices so that students can grasp this knowledge easily.  (Stone, 2017).  

STEM subjects are in a process of transformation where technology and the demands of the industries of the future have a great role to play. Information levels of the students are very high; they have a filtered and convenient access to the data. STEM subjects are important at the middle levels of the education because they play a crucial role in the “critical thinking faculty of an individual.” In the current assignment we are reviewing some sources of literature that deals with the Pedagogical Practices for middle year science teachers to engage their students in critical thinking in this changing environment.

  1. Saxena, A. (2014). Understanding scientific temperament and assessing its social relevance. Journal of Scientific Temper. Viewed On 14thAugust 2. https://web.stanford.edu/group/redlab/cgi-bin/materials/Kwek-Innovation%20In%20The%20Classroom.pdf

Author Abhishek Saxena (2014) says that science was present to offer magical solutions to the day to day problems in the past. Now, this magical spell has become a state of the factory affair. In the future, the main role of the science will be to predict probable solutions. He connected the scientific practices with social issues and quite frequently quoted some international scientists of the world.

In this paper, he gave us the breakdown of the nine elements of the scientific temper. This piece of the literature is important for our study because it presents a sociological account of some traditional theories that gave rise to a liberal thought process. He connected an important thread of learning methods of the past to the present methods. According to him the concept of "Do it yourself" was always present; however, the internet and other such mediums gave it a new recognition for the current generation of the learners (Andrew Gibbson, 2018).

This research paper is certainly helpful for us because it connects humanitarians with the scientific temper and allows us to explore certain Pedagogical practices that were present in the society in the past. The identification of these existing practices and a framework to revamp them for the future students can always give us a new line of thought for the research that we are undertaking.

  1. Earp.J, STEM learning – international best practice,Australian Council for Educational Research, Viewed on 14th August, https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/stem-learning-international-best-practice.

Role of Pedagogical Practices in STEM

Australian middle-level students are losing interest in STEM-related studies and it can cause a deficiency of STEM-based skill workers in the coming future says, Jo Earp (2017). Experts at the Australian Council for Educational Research support this vision because it is an outcome of some systematic studies that they did over the decades.  

This article also gives us an access to the international viewpoints connected to the Pedagogical Practices that are prevailing in various other countries. This article gives us an insight into the international perspective that is surrounding the issue. This article also gives us some takeaway points in the form of Key Findings of various surveys that have been done in this direction.


Development of a standardized STEM ecosystem is emerging as an international concern. Australia is not alone many other countries of the world are also facing the same problem. In the first few paragraphs, this article establishes migration from the STEM as a future national crisis (Yap, 2017). It also signifies the importance of user-friendly language to describe STEM-related concepts. A summary of 18 in-depth case studies and experimental solutions in the direction of Pedagogical practices makes it an accomplish document to become the framework for an elaborated study on the issue.

This article is very important for our research; it gives us the leads to various other keywords that can be incorporated into our primary research plan. This article will also help us in fixing the variables of the research because it caters to a big sample and presents a holistic point of view of the problem.

  1. Kyere. J, (2017),Effectiveness of Hands-on Pedagogy in STEM Education, Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies Collection, Viewed on 14th August, https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4035&context=dissertations

A doctoral study submitted by John Kyere (2017) presents an exhaustive account of the current pedagogy practices in the STEM. This report checks the performance of the students in the stream on a yearly basis and presents an account that shows the decline in the interests’ levels of the students.

In this report, the author has dedicated an entire chapter related to teacher preparation and their critical role in the implementation of various STEM-related pedagogy practices.

Most of the other researchers in the field have talked about the role of the gadgets and other devices. Johy Kyere (2017) also discussed the same from a different point of view. He introduced the concept of the social change due to the smart electronic devices. This piece of literature also presents an account of the stakeholders in the process. For instance, students are stakeholders, parents are stakeholder and teachers are stakeholders.

International Viewpoints on STEM Pedagogy


This doctoral study is very rich in data because the author had left no stone unturned in interviewing the people. The report represents both qualitative and quantitative data samples to support its findings and recommendations. While developing a thesis on the topic, the rich and consolidated databases present in this literature can help us a great deal to substantiate the findings and information that we will collect from other sources. We can compare and contrast them with the data present in this report and chalk a course of action for our research essay.

  1. Kwek, S.H. (2011). Innovation in the Classroom: Design Thinking for 21st Century Learning. (Master’s thesis). Viewed 14thAugust, https://www.stanford.edu/group/redlab/cgibin/publications_resources.php

The title “Innovation in the classroom” sets the nature of the content in the mind of the reader. However when we explore the content then we find that it is much more than that and deals with a bigger picture. Author Sweet Hong David Kwek in his essay based on the qualitative research raised this question from a very poignant point of view. Machines are gradually eating up the pie of the human labor from the economic activities. Unfortunately, the underdeveloped countries and the developing countries are going to suffer the pangs of this machine based evolutions (Means, 2018). STEM classrooms of these countries are not in a position to meet this challenge that the future is holding for them.

The inclusion of the terms like a virtual world and emotional intelligence in the STEM teaching methods is a strong recommendation. This report advocates for a 21st-century classroom where inclusion of the passion to learn and critical thinking are a must. An alternative progressive vision is the need of the hour. Where certain barriers like high stake testing of the STEM proficiency should be removed to attract the students in this stream of the education (Schyrlet Cameron, 2015). 

This master's thesis also introduces us to the concept of Design thinking, design thinking is a method of learning that allows a kid to build up a creative confidence in him. Activity-guided problem-solving capacity of the students at the middle level is also a big area of concern. The technologies are killing the essence of an activity and making it a beaten track for the students. This master's thesis can help us a great deal on the path where we can find the root causes behind the decreasing performance levels of the STEM students.

  1. Sidelinger.R, Dialogic Pedagogy in the College Classroom: Overcoming Students’ Negative Perceptions of the Talkaholic Teacher, Currents in Teaching and learning. Viewed on 14thAugust, Worcester-State-University-Currents-2018-V10-N1-Final.pdf, May 2018, PP 21-22

The personality of the teacher plays a crucial role in the process of the student engagement, says, Robert Sidelinger. If a teacher is talkative then it can emerge as a big problem. Since our study has its focus on the techniques of the teaching. It is very important for us to cover this tangent of the main problem. This particular essay introduces us to the terminology of the pedagogy in an exhaustive manner. For instance, he introduced the concept of the student satisfaction level during the process of learning. He emphasized that learning should be an active process where the teacher should play the role of the active campaigner.

Performance Decline and Teacher Preparation in STEM

Constant interaction between a student and teacher can increase the attention span. This study says that during a dialogic pedagogy the process of talking should continue and they should be designed in a fashion where students can express themselves more freely (David Skidmore, 2016).

This study is important for our research because apart from the fruits the means are also important. Our thesis of the study revolves around the role of the teachers at the middle level, though the findings and recommendation of the study are universal in nature; however, they are applicable on our target group as well.

Conclusion

The exercise of the literature review gives us this prima facie impression that innovation in the field of pedagogy is required. There are many aspects to the problem. Virtual world and smart gadgets are definitely easing out the life of the middle-level students. Answers are instantly available and the capacity to think critically is losing its importance. In the current research where we are trying to find the Pedagogical strategy to engage middle-level students, this current literature review gives us an idea that we don't need to drift down from the regular processes. Instead, we should go for an optimization of the current gadgets and internet in the favor of active Pedagogical methods. The communication between the teacher and the student can play a crucial role in the exercise by giving it a human touch.

The crux of this literature review brings us to the conclusion that the introduction of a fresh set of Pedagogical strategies is the need of the hour for the middle-level students. Organizations like ACER has an elaborated policy document for the measurement and implementation of healthy STEM standards in Australia. Their agenda is dependent on two facts, first, they are focusing on global STEM standards and second, they are focusing on the differences that the school sector can make.

With the help of the current research program, we are going to explore the effectiveness of prevailing pedagogical strategies for middle-level students. Based on our findings and opinions we wish to recommend a framework of reforms so that they can fill the gap if it is present.

References:

Andrew Gibbson, E. S. (2018). DIY (Do-it-Yourself) pedagogy: a future-less.Open Review of Educational Research viewed on  14th August, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/23265507.2018.1457453.

 David Skidmore, K. M. (2016). Dialogic Pedagogy: The Importance of Dialogue in Teaching and Learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.   

Earp.J, STEM learning – international best practice, Australian Council for Educational Research, Viewed on 14th August,   HYPERLINK "https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/stem-learning-international-best-practice" https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/stem-learning-international-best-practice.

Kwek, S.H. (2011). Innovation in the Classroom: Design Thinking for 21st Century Learning. (Master’s thesis). Viewed 14th August, https://www.stanford.edu/group/redlab/cgibin/publications_resources.php

Kyere. J, (2017), Effectiveness of Hands-on Pedagogy in STEM Education, Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies Collection, Viewed on 14th August, https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4035&context=dissertations

Means, A. J. (2018). Learning to Save the Future: Rethinking Education and Work in an Era of Digital Capitalism. Abingdon: Routledge.

Ross, A. (2016). The industries of the future. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Saxena, A. (2014). Understanding scientific temperament and assessing its social relevance. Journal of Scientific Temper. Viewed On 14th August 2. https://web.stanford.edu/group/redlab/cgi-bin/materials/Kwek-Innovation%20In%20The%20Classroom.pdf

Schyrlet Cameron, C. C. (2015). STEM Labs for Middle Grades, Grades 5 - 8. North Carolina: Carson Dellosa Publishing Group.

Sidelinger.R, Dialogic Pedagogy in the College Classroom: Overcoming Students’ Negative Perceptions of the Talkaholic Teacher, Currents in Teaching and learning. Viewed on 14th August, Worcester-State-University-Currents-2018-V10-N1-Final.pdf, May 2018, PP 21-22

Stone, E. (2017). Psychology of Education: A Pedagogical Approach. Abingdon: Routledge.

Yap, A. (2017). Distilling the STEM experience. The Australian, https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/distilling-the-stem-experience/news-story/d17a583e52bce626708f3fabfe57a0ab.

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