Developing Critical Thinking Skills via Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) ConceptsDiana Wehrell-Grabowski on February 7, 2011 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education No Comments »
It’s a known fact based on statistical data that U.S. students fall behind their international peers in science and mathematics skills. There are many reasons for the lackluster performance on standardized tests, as well as the lack of in-depth knowledge of basic science and mathematical concepts among U.S. students. I suspect that one of the primary reasons U.S. students continually fall behind other countries in science and math is that many U.S. students have not been given learning experiences that help them to develop and strengthen critical thinking skills. I have developed a teacher training workshop entitled “Developing Critical Thinking Skills via Exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Concepts.” During this teacher training workshop teachers conduct numerous hands-on-minds-on inquiry-based explorations to investigate STEM concepts. The explorations teachers conduct require them to use critical thinking skills, in addition teachers are asked to develop higher-order thinking questions for each exploration undertaken. The following photos are from a recent Critical Thinking workshop I conducted with elementary teachers. Once again, another great group of teachers, and successful workshop that will have positive long-term benefits for the teachers and their students. I consider a teacher training workshop professional staff development experience a successful one when teachers have expanded upon their own content knowledge, and gained confidence in their ability to teach STEM concepts effectively.