Working with schools and teachers

Whatever background or habits, every young person is exposed to science at school, thus improving STEM experience at school is of the outmost importance in a region where 1 out of 4 youngsters is out of work.  How to equip them to be the innovation leaders of the future? Among the main progress you should know about in the region...

Coding arrives at school:

• Computing at all ages: UK supports the introduction of computing in the curriculum and issues-based approach, linked to societal challenges, for teaching STEM in lower secondary curricula

• The Netherlands pledge to integrate science and technology into all primary schools curricula by 2020 and involve business in delivering education programmes.  

Do not overlook engineering:

• Israel has launched We are the future, for upper secondary school students and Engineer for primary school students, helping them apply an engineering design approach to respond to challenges.  

• Saudi Arabia has launched the Engineering is Elementary programme which supports the introduction of new concepts and skills with professional development opportunities for teachers.

More insight into how to make STEM meaningful to our pupils? 

• Flemish Belgium via the Flemish network for science and innovation sheds new light into the factors influencing students motivation for STEM and recommend broad curricula reforms in the publication “Choosing STEM. Young people's educational choice for technical and scientific studies” 

• Result from inGenious activities offer an important contributions to understanding the value and impact of STEM at school and the importance of working in partnerships.

Support (and reward) for teachers:

• New online resources have been increasingly made available for teachers: Among the most successful, materials offered by the Swedish organization Nobel Media which are based on Nobel laureates discoveries: interactive games are extremely successful. Curious to try out? 

• Integration of new resources and development of new teaching methods are predicated on the availability of professional development opportunities for teachers. Among best initiatives, a new programme offered by US National Academy of Sciences for teachers in Middle East and North Africa and the establishment of a network of science centres to support teachers in Israel.

• STEM teachers can also benefit of courses available online among which the new “Innovative practices for engaging STEM teaching”, offered by the European Schoolnet Academy in collaboration with inGenious.

Main recommendations that emerge from this White Paper

• Update teaching styles: Student-centered learning is still rare and traditional teaching methods are prevalent in most EMEA countries. (TIMMS survey

• Put it into context: 20% of students are more interested in STEM when real life content is introduced alongside theory. Schools are increasingly involved in working in partnerships with external actors (from science museums to business associations).

• To increase uptake and impact of new resources and  opportunities, the Paper highlights the need for recognition to front-runners and recommends countries to progress on schemes to support and accredit teachers who are involved in both online and in presence activities for professional development and innovation in their class.