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Special Issue "Aspirations within Interdisciplinary STEM/STEAM Education under the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 September 2022 | Viewed by 3274

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Tzu-Hua Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education and Learning Technology, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
Interests: e-Learning; digital assessment; science education; teacher education; interdisciplinary STEM/STEAM education; problematic Internet use/Internet addiction and educational sciences research by using electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking technologies
Dr. Yang Teck Kenneth LIM
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Interests: adolescent spatial cognition; disciplinary intuitions; learning environment design; makerspaces; six learnings curriculum framework; translation and diffusion
Prof. Dr. Jari Lavonen
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Education, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Interests: science and technology teaching and learning; curriculum development; teacher education; use of ICT in education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD; https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development), an education concept advocated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), aims to help people cultivate knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that facilitate sustainable development in the future. The vision is highly consistent with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs; https://sdgs.un.org/goals). The purpose of ESD is to incorporate the content of SDGs into the design of teaching and learning activities to equip learners with competencies required for sustainable development. The spirit behind ESD also largely aligns with the 2030 Learning Compass proposed by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (http://www.oecd.org/education/2030-project/teaching-and-learning/learning/learning-compass-2030/). It points out that the vision of current education is to enable learners to use their learned or cultivated knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to face or solve daily life problems in the future and to act as a compass that guides learners to address unknown future challenges and further contribute to the well-being of the human race.

The concepts of ESD and the 2030 Learning Compass are of great importance because of the unpredictability of the future society and environment, particularly technological advances that may cause drastic changes in the global economy, society, and environment in the foreseeable future. The ability of social citizens nurtured under the current education system to effectively adapt to and cope with these changes will profoundly affect how countries and society develop in the future. Based on the above, in recent years, competency-based teaching has received considerable attention; competency refers to one’s ability to appropriately apply his or her knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values in daily life. STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) education, a form of interdisciplinary education, is a way to successfully implement competency-based teaching (Wang, Lim, Lavonen, and Clark-Wilson, 2019). STEM/STEAM education facilitates meaningful learning for students by promoting the interdisciplinary integration of knowledge and skills among the STEAM fields. One of the goals of STEM/STEAM education is to foster the STEM/STEAM skills of students, enhancing their employability, their ability to solve complex industry problems, and their capacity to better the lives of all beings on Earth (White House, 2018). STEM/STEAM education has now received attention from educational institutions, parents, society, and industries, and many countries—seeing STEM/STEAM education as a crucial education model for boosting national competitiveness and talent cultivation—have been formulating policies relevant to the education. Nonetheless, Bybee (2013) indicated the need for further investigation into the various aspects of STEM/STEAM education to ensure its efficacy and values.

This Special Issue aims to prompt deeper investigations on the theory and practice of STEM/STEAM education and to find ways to implement high-quality STEM/STEAM education from the perspective of SDGs, ESD, and the 2030 Learning compass. Papers concerning the following topics all fall under the scope of this Special Issue:

-STEM/STEAM curriculum development

-STEM/STEAM teaching models

-Competency-based teaching in STEM/STEAM education

-Preservice and in-service teacher training and certification of STEM/STEAM education

-Evaluation of teachers’ competences of STEM/STEAM teaching

-Evaluation of students’ STEM/STEAM competencies and learning outcomes

-STEM/STEAM curriculum leadership

-Policymaking for STEM/STEAM education

References

Bybee, R. W. (2013). The Case for STEM Education: Challenges and Opportunities. National Science Teachers Association, NSTA Press, Arlington, Virginia.

Wang, T. H., Lim, K. Y. T., Lavonen, J. & Clark-Wilson, A. (2019). Maker-Centred Science and Mathematics Education: Lenses, Scales and Contexts. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 17 (suppl 1), 1-11.

White House (2018). Summary of the 2018 White House State-Federal STEM Education Summit. https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Summary-of-the-2018-White-House-State-Federal-STEM-Education-Summit.pdf

Prof. Dr. Tzu-Hua Wang
Guest Editor

Dr. Yang Teck Kenneth LIM
Prof. Dr. Jari Lavonen
Co-Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • STEM/STEAM Education

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
An Assessment of Junior High School Students’ Knowledge, Creativity, and Hands-On Performance Using PBL via Cognitive–Affective Interaction Model to Achieve STEAM
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095582 - 06 May 2022
Viewed by 280
Abstract
This study aimed to discover the implications of using different teaching approaches for a hands-on STEAM activity for junior high school students’ STEAM knowledge, creativity, and hands-on performance. The teaching contents used in the study were designed based on the project-based learning (PBL) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to discover the implications of using different teaching approaches for a hands-on STEAM activity for junior high school students’ STEAM knowledge, creativity, and hands-on performance. The teaching contents used in the study were designed based on the project-based learning (PBL) strategy and the cognitive–affective interaction model (CAIM). The students’ learning outcomes were tested through a hands-on activity with the theme of electric boat creation. PBL with the CAIM was the strategy used to implement the hands-on STEAM activity and to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). In this study, a quasi-experimental design was used for 10 weeks, and the 366 students who participated in the experiment were divided into experimental groups (EGs, 199 students using PBL with the CAIM) and control groups (CGs, 167 students using PBL only). Through the analysis of covariance, the results showed that students in the EGs achieved higher academic performance in terms of STEAM knowledge, creativity, and hands-on performance. The study also found that the hands-on STEAM activity had a positive effect on creativity for students in the EGs, allowing them to develop different modes of thinking in the processes of designing and producing the finished product, which in turn enhanced the innovativeness of their products and solutions. In addition, using PBL with the CAIM in the hands-on STEAM activity brought about positive learning outcomes and creative abilities for the students, achieving the SDG 4 objectives. Moreover, the outcomes of this study are in line with the current international trend in the development of education, providing reference examples for the future development of STEAM activities and teaching materials at the junior high school level. Full article
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Article
Humanities and Social Sciences in Relation to Sustainable Development Goals and STEM Education
Sustainability 2022, 14(6), 3279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14063279 - 10 Mar 2022
Viewed by 754
Abstract
This article explores the question: How can the humanities and social sciences become key elements for the implementation of quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, providing students with the competencies required for a sustainable development agenda? To answer this question, the [...] Read more.
This article explores the question: How can the humanities and social sciences become key elements for the implementation of quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, providing students with the competencies required for a sustainable development agenda? To answer this question, the article seeks to (1) understand the elements that are common in STEM education, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, (2) analyze these relationships in higher education, and (3) evaluate how to integrate them in a classroom. The article presents the experience of a course that explicitly seeks to integrate humanities and social sciences in a STEM-oriented institution of higher education. This discussion will be complemented by the analysis of survey data from two semesters, taken at the beginning and at the end of a course. This will help to discuss how the students shaped their perceptions about these topics and to what extent these perceptions were or were not changed by the course. Finally, the article proposes that the specific analysis of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their targets are educational tools to help achieve interdisciplinarity in the classroom, but only if we help the students to see the relationship of these SDGs to their own lives and with their own careers. Full article
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Other

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Project Report
Evaluation of Disabled STEAM -Students’ Education Learning Outcomes and Creativity under the UN Sustainable Development Goal: Project-Based Learning Oriented STEAM Curriculum with Micro:bit
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020679 - 08 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 590
Abstract
This research aims to discuss the impact of the STEAM curriculum on students with learning disabilities and their learning outcomes and creativity. Teaching for creative thinking is the strategy to deliver a STEAM-structured curriculum and to reach the SDG4 targets. The content is [...] Read more.
This research aims to discuss the impact of the STEAM curriculum on students with learning disabilities and their learning outcomes and creativity. Teaching for creative thinking is the strategy to deliver a STEAM-structured curriculum and to reach the SDG4 targets. The content is designed in line with project-based learning (PBL), while the micro:bit and paper cutting are used as materials to support it. Methods and Procedures: The single-case research approach (A-B-M) was applied to study three students with special educational needs in primary school. The entire curriculum takes up to 10 weeks with 12 STEAM lessons with activities. The independent variable was the PBL-oriented STEAM curriculum, and the dependent variables were the learning outcomes and TTCT results of pre-tests and post-tests for creativity. There were immediate learning outcomes and retention effects found on the three participants. This paper addresses that the STEAM curriculum had a positive impact on their creativity, which gives affirmative feedback on the curriculum. Conclusion: This PBL-oriented STEAM curriculum under the SDG4 targets gave students with disabilities creativity competency and positive learning outcomes in these case studies. These teaching materials enable teachers to deliver the STEAM curriculum to students with learning disabilities. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Communication and Interdisciplinarity: Humanities and Social Sciences in the relationship between sustainable development goals and STEM education
Authors: Giancarlo Marcone
Affiliation: Center for Impact and Social Responsibility - CIRSO University of Engineering and Technology - UTEC
Abstract: This article seeks to make visible the effect of Humanities and social sciences in the relationship between sustainable development goals and STEM education. Through discussing the experienc-es of teaching courses orientated to understand global challenges and sustainable development problems in an interdisciplinary and project oriented academic track, the article proposes that Humanities and Social Science facilitate communication with and understanding society. This understanding promotes interdisciplinarity. Interdisciplinarity and communication with society are at the base of the mutually dependent relationship between STEM education and Sustainable Development oriented polices of science and technology. STEM education needs the approxima-tion of Sustainable Development in order to develop a lifelong, life wide and life deep curricula. At the meantime policies toward sustainable development goals need STEM education in order to educate social sensitive and interdisciplinary professionals. Humanities and Social Sciences are key elements to promote ways of connecting the teaching and practicing of sciences with people and its daily life.

Title: Investigating the relationship between physiological stress and environmental factors through Data Science, the Internet of Things and DIY wearables
Authors: 1. Kenneth Y T Lim; 2. Duc Minh Anh Nguyen; Thien Minh Tuan Nguyen
Affiliation: 1. National Institute of Education, Singapore 2. independent author
Abstract: In this paper we will share early work investigating the intersection of local microclimate, affect, and human physiological response. Currently, there is little research on the relationship between microclimate and humans’ emotions and health and – to the best of our knowledge – there are no readily accessible devices which can measure both microclimate and biometric data within a single unit. We set out to build and programme a device that can measure microclimate and biometric data so that the data collected can be used to improve the environment and well-being of humans and the community. A random forest regression model was trained on 80% of data set with the microclimate factors as input variables. The model was subsequently tested on remaining 20% of data set. Excel was used to store the accuracy and factors’ significance of the model. Regression models for heart rate (HR), HR variability, short term HR variations, body temperature, sleep score and stress are accurate as R2 is higher than 0.3.

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