Education for Sustainability through STEM Ecosystems: STEM in Lower Secondary and Primary Education with the SchoolWeavers Tool as a Network Perspective

Gitte Miller Balslev*, Ditte Katrine Hendrichsen, Bjørn Ribers, Connie Svabo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Advances in science and technology are important tools in addressing complex global challenges such as food production, pollution, health, climate change and demographic change. In addition, there is a growing understanding across international fora, that solutions to complex problems often require approaches that are cross disciplinary and creative. There is thus a need for people who are able to think beyond traditional disciplines and sectors, whether we talk about professionals, politicians or the general public. One such cross disciplinary mindset, which has gained strong support in later years, is STEM, integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM has also become an important element in education, from preschool to higher education. Many resources are invested into STEM education to encourage institutions, communities and individuals to engage in STEM related teaching practices and professional development – especially in the USA. However, new research in American STEM networks finds that these initiatives are often led by institutions, departments or individuals working alone and, on a larger scale, have not achieved the desired outcome. In this article, we discuss how local educational STEM ecosystems build up as broad educational networks across educational institutions and local stakeholders. In this way local stakeholders can contribute to education addressing epochal key problems and we point to the role of school leadership nurturing the local STEM ecosystem, using the international NetEdu project, and in particular the SchoolWeavers tool, as an example.
Translated title of the contributionBæredygtig uddannelse gennem STEM-økosystemer:: Et netværksperspektiv på STEM i grundskolen med SchoolWeavers Tool som som omdrejning
Original languageEnglish
JournalLUMAT: International Journal on Math, Science and Technology Education
Publication statusSubmitted - 2. Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Education
  • STEM-education
  • Ecosystems
  • Social Network perspective

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