Learning Progression Pathways in STEM Education

The central core concepts and key STEM skills are typically touched on many times, at different year stages and in different subject contexts.  A Learning Progression Pathway is a planning tool to support such "joined-up" learning. Based on an analysis of the full curriculum, it aims to articulate the level of understanding that should be achieved at each given stage, and to draw attention to the different subject contexts which could be explicitly cross-referenced to reinforce and deepen understanding and skill.

For more detail on the nature and value of this approach go to About Learning Progression Pathways

In colaboration with teachers we have drafted Leaning Progression Pathways in the following areas

  • Measurement, Units and Scale
  • Models in STEM
  • Genetics & Inheritance
  • Energy
  • Mechanical Systems

Currently we have agreed with partners from the Association for Science Education, Scotland, the Scottish Mathematical Council and the Scottish Technology Teachers Association to prioritise progress with the first two of these, as lead applications to pilot the use of this approach in Scotland.

Measurement, Units & Scale

This area is often highlighted, by university academics and industry employers, as one where the capabilities of Scottish school leavers rate poorly relativee to recruits from many other countries.  This view seems to be confirmed by international studies such as PISA.  (This seems to be the case also for the UK as a whole.)  For a description of our own analysis and proposals for this topic go to Measurement, Units & Scale.

Models in STEM

Understanding across science and technology is almost always frwmed in terms of a model of how the system of study behaves.  Models are useful, but generally imperfect, representations of reality.  More sophisticated models are often required at deeper levels of study.  It is important that learners should be aware when they are using a model, and recogniise its potential limitations.  We have developed a Learning Pathway in this area.  For more detail go to Models in STEM

Our fuller work

The potential value of a Learning Pathways approach emerged as the clear conclusion from our earlier project:  Connecting it up: Towards a Route Map for STEM  Education. That study was pursued through consultations involving approximately 100 volunteer teachers, most of whom were recruited through the Association for Science Education, Scotland (ASE), the Scottish Mathematical Council (SMC), and the Scottish Technology Teachers Association (STTA). Those three bodies were identified partners in the project and senior representatives formed the backbone of its Steering Committee. for further detail go to the Connecting it up in STEM education tab.

Comments and suggestions welcome

We would welcome any comments, suggestions and expressions of interest on these two Pathways, or indeed on potential other Pathways.  To communicate these, please do so via email, to alan.roach@uws.ac.uk .  We would like to use this website to carry dialogue and suggestions on Learning Pathways, subject to the agreement of individual contributers.