Connecting it up: towards a Route Map for STEM education in Scotland
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundationp provided funding for STEM-ED Scotland for an exploratory project underr the above title.
The work, led by researcher Elsa Ekevall, involved extensive collaboration with the Association for Science Education in Scotland (ASE), the Scottish Technology Teachers Association (TTA) and the Scottish Mathematical Council (SMC). Senior individuals from each of these groups constituted the project Steering Committee, and members of these associations constituted the majority of the hundred-plus teachers who contributed to the development of "Learning Pathways" in key concept areas. The Scottish Government provided some additional funding for the development of two of the pathways, in conjunction with their own concurrent work ton characterise "Excellence" in science education.
The project worked to identify and promote a coherent and progressive approach across the STEM subjects through the first 10 years of school education (from P1 to S3). Its princial outputs were draft Learning Pathways, developed through extensive consultations with teachers, in five key concept areas: "Models in STEM," "Measurement, Units & Scale," "Genetics & Inheritance," "Mechanical Systems" and "Energy." This explored the mapping of progression in learning and understanding in a quite varied range of exemplar areas.
The work took full account of the learning "Experiences and Outcomes" guidance specified by the Scottish Government. The whole approach was fully consistent with the principles of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence vision, as well as being in tune with the recommendations of STEM-ED Scotland’s own earlier work in this field. The Learning Pathways documents are not designed to be closely prescriptive, but to point to a range of potential opportunities to link teaching on different specific stage E&O outcomes to strengthen, deepen and extend understanding in the key "big ideas" and key skills areas represneted in the title of each Learning Pathway.
Project Output Documents
The panel on the right of this page gives links to the principal project outputs, including the Project Summary Report and draft documentation for each of the five Learning Pathways listed above.
At a very positive "End of Project Meeting," involving a discussion with a widely representative group of stakeholders, it was agreed that the Learning Pathways approach emerging from the project, represented a very valuable model for much wider development in the future. The pathways documents should be seen as drafts, providing a basis for further development, to produce versions which teachers in local schools and across primary-secondary school clusters could use to plan how to provide learning links, reinforcement and progression through coordination and cross-referencing among teaching teams within and across school subjects.
On-going work is underway, to support implementation in schools of the approach developed during this project. This is described under the Learning Pathway tab, accessed from the left hand panel of this screen.