Teachers’ responses analysed in a new Scientix Observatory report

The data that is presented in a new Scientix Observatory report shows that teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) need more support, training and tools for implementing innovative pedagogies at schools. This report is based on an analysis of 3,780 responses from STEM teachers at secondary schools in 38 European countries to a survey carried out by Scientix, with the support of European Schoolnet and Texas Instruments, earlier this year.

The results of the survey reflect a diverse landscape, with STEM teachers trying their hand at new pedagogies and diversifying the resources and materials they use in their practice. However, these attempts are still in their early stages and need continuous support. Traditional teaching instruction, resources and materials still prevail in STEM classes while student-centred pedagogies and methods are less used. 88% of the respondents say they use paper-based materials in their lessons; in contrast, only 28% say they use online collaborative tools.

Teachers indicate that their professional practices are affected by pressure to prepare students for exams, insufficient technical support, organisation of their schools' spaces and a lack of available pedagogical models.

The report's findings also raise concerns regarding the professional development of STEM teachers. 38% of teachers say they do not get any technical or pedagogical support in their work, not even from other colleagues of the same subjects, and most teachers did not spend any time on ICT-related professional development or training related to innovative STEM teaching in the last two years.

The report also found that three out of four of the surveyed teachers share a positive vision of innovative STEM teaching with their colleagues and head of school, and this is linked positively with the amount of innovation brought into the classroom.

Following a detailed analysis of this data, the report proposes a set of recommendations for policymakers and educational stakeholders for overcoming challenges in STEM education such as those. For this purpose, it is recommended to support the development and implementation of whole-school STEM-oriented strategies and to encourage the update of integrative STEM teaching and cooperation among teachers. It is considered important that teachers can learn from their peers and seek support. International networks can help teachers improve their practices through such exchange and teachers need more opportunities for professional development.

This is the second Scientix Observatory report published this year in which policies and practices in STEM education are analysed. Previously, in October 2018, Scientix published the report "STEM Education Policies in Europe" with input from Ministries of Education, the industry and universities in 14 countries in Europe.

You can download both the reports and relevant promotional materials on the Scientix online portal.