How educators can contribute to gender equality in STEM
In recent years, people have become increasingly aware of the gender gap in STEM fields, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Although there has been progress in narrowing this gap, much work remains, and teachers have a crucial role in helping to close the STEM gender gap. This blog post will explore ways teachers can help make STEM more inclusive and accessible to girls.
Highlight the Social Impact of STEM
STEM fields have a far-reaching influence on society beyond solving technical problems. The desire to contribute to a better world through technology’s societal impact often drives girls’ interest in STEM. By emphasizing the significance of diversity and inclusion in STEM education, educators can help girls see the value of their perspectives in solving real-world issues like climate change. This approach inspires girls to pursue STEM careers and highlights the broader social impact of STEM.
Create Learning Experiences that Enable Real-World Problem Solving
Creating learning experiences that enable real-world problem-solving can help learners see the practical application of STEM in solving social problems. Most learners find hands-on activities more engaging, but research has shown that girls more particularly benefit from hands-on and problem-based learning. Contextual learning enhances girls’ engagement and perception of what it means to be involved in STEM.
Provide creative opportunities to demonstrate learning
Problem-solving, creativity and design are essential skills in all learners’ STEM development. Girls value creativity but often perceive STEM subjects and careers as lacking that. For example, incorporating art in design projects can help girls understand how STEM fields are intertwined with creativity and aesthetics.
Foster a Growth Mindset
Fostering a growth mindset is essential for promoting gender equality in STEM. Teachers can encourage learners to develop a growth mindset by emphasizing the importance of learning from failure, embracing challenges, and valuing effort over natural ability. A growth mindset can help girls build confidence in their ability to succeed in STEM fields.
Provide Role Models
Role models play a crucial role in inspiring girls to pursue STEM careers. Teachers can invite women who work in STEM fields to speak to their classes and arrange field trips to STEM-related workplaces. This exposure can help girls see successful women in STEM fields and envision themselves pursuing similar careers.
Create a Supportive Classroom Environment
Creating a supportive classroom environment where all learners feel valued and included is crucial for promoting gender equality in STEM. Teachers can create an inclusive learning environment and use learning materials that are not gender biased. Avoid gender stereotypes in examples and activities and promote equal participation and contributions from all learners.
By implementing these strategies, educators can help bridge the gender gap in STEM and create a more diverse and inclusive STEM workforce.
Our STEAM learning platform Grow Planet increases
learner engagement and achievement by:
- Offering ready-made environments and activities for real-world problem-solving
- Broadening the view of what STEM is all about.
- Visualizing how technology and creativity can improve the world.