UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Reconceptualizing STEM Education in China as Praxis: A Curriculum Turn Ma, Ying


STEM education has drawn considerable international attention in recent decades. Current practices of STEM Education in China have shown that STEM is understood primarily as a policy-driven and economic problem. This paper challenges the reduced technical frameworks of STEM education and draws on the theoretical framework of the reconceptualization movement in the curriculum field. It aims to shift scientific or social science paradigms with languages of humanity to reapproach STEM education. STEM education is hence reconceptualized as praxis in its lived, ethical and historical dimensions. It would transform STEM education in China from being targeted for economic growth to attending to lived, nuanced and rich STEM experiences, structured by ethics and threaded by history. STEM teachers and teacher educators are advised to understand anew about STEM in their situatedness. STEM could serve as an opportunity to critically reflect on and research each discipline in greater depth with inter-disciplinary lenses. Instead of integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics seamlessly to form omnipotent toolsets for the 21st-century workforce in China and on the international landscape, a reconceptualization of STEM as praxis could continue to generate more sustainable STEM education.

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