The Hellenic Education Society of STEM, (Ε 3 STEM), formed in 2017, is a registered, independent, nonprofit professional body and its members work for STEM education at primary, secondary and tertiary level.
Ε 3 STEM is a community of University Professors, School educators and School Advisors who share a common vision for the role of STEM epistemology in promoting education.
Ε 3 STEM engages in the development of STEM applications and epistemology with practices linked to the Inquiry Based teaching and learning approaches. It aims to promote the STEM epistemology, computing, computational science and computational thinking, and to advance understanding and education of the STEM methodology alongside with contemporary learning theories and didactic models.
It is the only professional body for STEM education in Greece with the vision to grant chartered status to STEM in Education professionals.
The problems we face in our ever-changing, increasingly global society require the integration of multiple STEM concepts in order to provide solutions to them. The complexity of real-world problems is a driving force behind national calls for changes in STEM education (NAS, NAE, and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2006; National Center on Education and the Economy, 2007). STEM methodology follows the so-called transdisciplinary approach, which focuses on the “integrated” approach to teach the four disciplines included in the STEM cognitive areas. According to Kelley & Knowles (2016), STEM methodology includes: practical epistemology, the engineering design and making, the inquiry approach and the dimensions of Computational Thinking in an integrated system (EDU-ARCTIC Report, 2016; Psycharis, 2015; Psycharis,2016).
Computation/computing, in the form of text based, optical and physical computing, is an indispensable component of
STEM epistemology, since it can be implemented for the design and solution of authentic problems. Professional societies, such as the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), call for new educational approaches that focus on the hands-on, interdisciplinary, and socially relevant aspects of STEM, specifically highlighting engineering as a discipline that can meet these goals (Brophy, Klein, Portsmore, & Rogers, 2008).
Many research documents combine advocacy for including CT in school Computer Science studies with a critique of the way digital literacy is dealt with in education. For example, Simon Peyton Jones reports that in England “there was a statutory subject called Information and Communication Technology (ICT); however, it was a technological subject focused on how to use artefacts. A variety of factors made ICT a low status subject especially in the eyes of students.” This resulted in a complete restructuring of the ICT syllabus, now called Computing. Hence, computer science is introduced along with digital and information literacy, as advocated by the Royal Society report (2012, p. 11): “The term ICT as a brand should be reviewed and the possibility considered of disaggregating this into clearly defined areas such as digital literacy, Information Technology and Computer Science. […] The term ‘ICT’ should no longer be used as it has attracted too many negative connotations.”
In this framework, engineering received a “prominent place” in the Framework as the mission of integrating engineering into science instruction from Kindergarten to 12th-grade began (Shirey, 2017). According to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), there is a need to reform science education by introducing engineering content and practices for instruction. This issue raises questions about the shift from the epistemology of science education to the epistemology of engineering education (EEE), as well as the resources and teachers’ challenges for integrating engineering pedagogy and epistemology in the curriculum (Shirey, 2015).
The aims and objectives of the Ε 3 STEM are to:
- provide best teaching and learning practices and concepts for the operative delivery of STEM in Education didactics models
- provide applied teaching projects/didactic scenario and curriculum activities
- provide material towards the clarification of the concepts “STEM in Education” and “STEM epistemology”
- promote the implementation of “engineering pedagogy” in Education integrated in STEM Education
- provide guidance through the support of STEM based laboratories
- provide innovative ideas for implementation of “STEM in education” in curriculum models
- create and sustain a national professional association representing the educators in STEM in Greece
- preserve and deliver a representative national opinion for member associations
- provide a common forum for educators in STEM education at National and International level
- cooperate with other organizations and stakeholders at local, national and international levels
- facilitate and provide strategies for the dissemination STEM epistemology and practices for the teaching and learning process at local, national and international level.
- provide support for member associations
- organize and conduct workshops, conferences and seminars
- be involved in National, European and International projects
- publish publications with an International focus
- increase community awareness of STEM epistemology
- provide a repository with “STEM in Education” learning design activities
Our members include University Professors, school teachers and school advisors working within Greek Education system. Membership is achieved through a recognized qualification as a way to prove commitment to the STEM in Education. Membership provides access to material, training, advice and support. (Ε3STEM), can support and represent those in the foundation years of their career as teachers and it runs by providing seminars and workshops to students and schools.
EDU-ARCTIC Report (2016). Edu-Arctic – Innovative educational program attracting young people to natural sciences and polar research, EDU-ARCTIC, European Union’s Horizon 2020 research, NUMBER — 710240. Retrieved from: http://edu-arctic.eu/images/project_reports/EDU- ARCTIC_D3.1_v7_19-07-2016_KM.pdf
Kelley, T.R. & Knowles, J.G. (2016). A conceptual framework for integrated STEM education. International Journal of STEM Education, 3 (1), 1-11.
National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2006). Rising above the gathering storm: Energizing and employing America for a brighter economic future. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
National Center on Education and the Economy. (2007). The report of the new commission on the skills of the American workforce. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
National Research Council (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Social Sciences. Chapter 10, 1–6.
NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. National Academies Press.
Psycharis, S. (2015). The impact of computational experiment and formative assessment in inquiry-based teaching and learning approach in STEM education. Journal of Science Education, and Technology, 25 (2), 316-326. DOI 10.1007/s10956-015- 9595-z
Psycharis, S. (2016). Inquiry-based computational experiment, acquisition of threshold concepts and argumentation in science and mathematics education. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 19 (3), 282-293.
The Royal Society. (2012). Shut down or restart? The way forward for computing in UK schools.
Shirey, K. (2017). Teacher Productive Resources for Engineering Design Integration in High School Physics Instruction (Fundamental). In: Proceedings of the 2017 ASEE Annual Conference, Columbus, OH, June 2017.
Shirey, K. (2015). The Engineering Education Epistemology of a Science Teacher. ASEE RTP, Strand 1.