Toward a Productive Definition of Technology in Science and STEM Education
Joshua Ellis, Florida International University, United States ; Jeanna Wieselmann, Southern Methodist University, United States ; Ramya Sivaraj, Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota, United States ; Emily Dare, Florida International University, United States ; Elizabeth Ring-Whalen, St. Catherine University, United States
CITE Journal Volume 20, Number 3, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA
The lack of a definition of the T in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) acronym is pervasive, and it is often the teachers of STEM disciplines who inherit the task of defining the role of technology within their K-12 classrooms. These definitions often vary significantly, and they have profound implications for curricular and instructional goals within science and STEM classrooms. This theoretical paper summarizes of technology initiatives across science and STEM education from the past 30 years to present perspectives on the role of technology in science-focused STEM education. The most prominent perspectives describe technology as the following: (a) vocational education, industrial arts, or the product of engineering, (b) educational or instructional technology, (c) computing or computational thinking, and (d) the tools and practices used by practitioners of science, mathematics, and engineering. We have identified the fourth perspective as the most salient with respect to K-12 science and STEM education. This particular perspective is in many ways compatible with the other three perspectives, but this depends heavily on the beliefs, prior experiences, and instructional goals of teachers who use technology in their science or STEM classroom.
Ellis, J., Wieselmann, J., Sivaraj, R., Roehrig, G., Dare, E. & Ring-Whalen, E. (2020). Toward a Productive Definition of Technology in Science and STEM Education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 20(3), 472-496. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education.
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