We witnessed many innovations arising from the COVID-19 disruptions. Underpinning these innovations has been the STEM disciplines, where the ability to solve novel, complex problems has become even more important. It is thus imperative that our curricula foster such problem solving from the elementary grades.
In this edWebinar, Lyn D. English, Professor of STEM Education/Mathematics Education at the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), first considers how we need to capitalize on the disruptions we have experienced in creating more future-oriented mathematics and STEM-enriched problems for the classroom. Such problems require a number of features that foster learning innovation—the processes of generating new knowledge and ideas that can be applied and adapted to the solution of novel and unexpected problems.
Next, Professor English isllustrate some ways in which learning innovation might be achieved through mathematical and STEM-enriched problems. She presents examples of problems she has implemented in elementary classrooms, such as designing mini-golf courses, developing models for determining appropriate sites for a historical town, and creating “Fancy Feet” involving shoe and feet investigations followed by creating shoes to wear for a “Fancy Shoe” parade.
This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to K-5 teachers and school and district leaders.