The July 15 issue of Nature includes a special for building the 21st century scientist. The issue includes features and commentaries describing some of the skills we should acquire but often neglect, namely effective teaching skills (i.e. active learning) and leadership skills. The focus is for 21st century teaching skills for STEM, and the content should be of interest for many of us.
Here is a brief summary of the special:
For generations, classes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have been built around a steady diet of lecture-based learning. Soft skills, such as creative problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration, are often given short shrift.
Now educators and education researchers are calling for change. They argue that a slew of ‘twenty-first-century skills’, which include creativity, persistence and motivation, can and should be taught and fostered through well-designed courses. Focusing on these skills enhances students’ abilities to master and retain knowledge, and many hope that it will help to curb the alarming rate at which students who start off in STEM abandon the subjects.
Nature in collaboration with Scientific American is taking a look at the promise and challenges of bringing STEM education in line with decades of education research.
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