It probably goes without saying that automation is at the core of almost everything we do. We have come to rely heavily on technological advancements that keep us more connected to each other and generally make our lives easier. Simply put, innovation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have become key to our existence as a society. Therefore, it can be argued that there should not only be more of a focus on STEM education, but also the development of analytical thinking skills.
It’s true that STEM is not the only set of disciplines that fosters critical thinking; however, it does present students with challenges and strategies that they don’t necessarily experience in other subjects. STEM education stimulates a child’s natural inquisitiveness through hands-on projects and presentations that address real-world situations. Students get to see how their efforts and actions affect everyday life as well as the world around them. They are encouraged to ask questions and tap into their creativity to find the most viable solutions to problems. Moreover, when they reach conclusions, they may be presented with follow-up questions about their methods to promote an even deeper exploration. This kind of critical analysis continues throughout the entire process including research conduction, finding data, and testing out various approaches.
Obviously, we just explained that STEM prompts critical thinking by incorporating real-life situations into school curricula; however, the benefits of the method extend well beyond the classroom and excelling in school. In STEM, students are required to truly understand the concepts being introduced to them. Memorizing answers through continuous repetition is not a very productive technique in this case. That’s not to say that memorization is a useless practice; rote learning is still utilized today. Rather, it’s just that it may dull creativity and hinder a child’s ability to think on their feet when they’re out on their own. Life is unpredictable, and challenges often demand analytical thinking skills and coming up with more than one approach.
While rote learning may work well in a teaching-to-the-test type situation, it doesn’t do much for competing in a more advanced way. As Live Science explains, STEM careers are in high demand and the need is only expected to increase. In fact, some sectors are currently finding that there is a shortage of workers qualified to perform STEM-related tasks. This offers an incredible opportunity to students who are presently honing their critical thinking skills. In addition, it helps our country compete on a broader, global level. As innovation and progress are a must in a developed world, STEM education is a must in the classroom.
Best in Class understands the importance of fostering analytical thinking skills and promoting STEM. Our K-12 supplemental education centers boast passionate and caring instructors that understand developments and shifts within the education sphere. They utilize proprietary Best in Class curricula to encourage students to build confidence and learn to approach challenges and problems in an effective manner. Our tutoring, enrichment, and test preparation programs are meant to complement lessons learned in the traditional classroom so that a child builds a well-rounded skill set that improves educational performance.