The educational system of a country is responsible for preparing the next generation to succeed in life. It is a tall order, and it will substantially fail if it fails to teach children the art of critical thinking and problem-solving.
STEM education prepares students for life challenges irrespective of their career choice. One of the essential skills that STEM teaches is how to think critically and come up with viable solutions to practical problems.
Such skill sets are useful throughout one’s life and help them during tough times. Critical thinking and reasoning enable students to take advantage of opportunities in life and make the best of every situation.
STEM education is emerging as an educational method that is promising, innovative, and easy to adapt. Countries all over are incorporating STEM education to give their students a better future in science and technology.
Our education system of learning by rote is becoming obsolete. An education system that falls short in fulfilling the scientific and technical requirements of the 21st century needs serious revision and upgrade.
Seconding this notion Naveen Jain, Entrepreneur and Founder of the World Innovation Institute says,
“Please don’t get me started on ‘No Child Left Behind.’ It might as well be called ‘All Children Left Behind.’ This system of standardized, rote learning that teaches to a test is exactly the type of education our children don’t need in this world that is plagued by systemic, pervasive, and confounding global challenges.
Today’s education system does not focus enough on teaching children to solve real-world problems and is not interdisciplinary, nor collaborative enough in its approach.”
Wall Street Journal, 27 June 2013.
Imagine an education that is conceptual yet interesting, difficult, but fun, easy, and addictive. A way of learning that is addictive as video games and builds a clear understanding of science and math. Sounds too good to be true?
STEM education delivers this and more. It is an idea-driven by dynamic innovation and the idea of entrepreneurship that will help revolutionize our education system.
Best examples of how critical thinking inspires interest in education is seen in classrooms. Teachers involve students in problem-solving activities, and as a result, they develop an interest in STEM subjects and learn how to cope with the world around them.
Countries that have incorporated STEM in schools are looking forward to a generation of highly involved, motivated, and proactive individuals. The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test examined 44 countries’ students’ problem-solving abilities— with developed countries like Britain, Singapore, Korea, Japan, China, and Canada taking the lead.
Data shows that schools that teach their students how to think critically and to solve problems efficiently are more successful than those who do not. As technology has overtaken repetitive tasks, the ability to solve real-world problems has become increasingly vital.
A study on problem-solving was carried out by OECD. Across the world, the OECD study found a strong and positive correlation between performance in problem-solving and achievement in maths, and science. In general, the high-performing students were also the ones best able to cope with unfamiliar scenarios.
The truth that we need to accept is that if we want our children to succeed, our society to grow and our country to prosper, then we must teach them how to think critically and solve problems.
The easy way to do this is to provide them with a good foundation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM subjects teach life-skills that are interdisciplinary and affect all aspects of life.