Research and design in STEM education
Research and design are two activities that are becoming increasingly important in the Dutch subjects O&O (‘research and design’) and NLT ('nature, life and technology’). The dissertation of Tessa Vossen (ICLON and Faculty of Science) indicates that teachers and students understand the importance of research in the design cycle, but that it is not practiced enough in the classroom.
- Tessa Vossen
- 04 September 2019
- Fulltext in Leiden Repository
Research and design are two activities that are becoming increasingly important in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Research and design projects are often still employed separately in school, while these activities are often connected in professional practice. The studies in this dissertation indicate that teachers and students of the Dutch subjects O&O (Dutch abbreviation for ‘research and design’) and NLT (Dutch abbreviation for ‘nature, life and technology’) already have some knowledge of ways in which research and design can be connected, and that this knowledge can be developed in a relatively short time.
However, interviews with teachers and students showed that students often skipped the research part of the design cycle. This is remarkable, because students were able to state the relevance of research within design. A study in the context of the subject NLT showed that both teachers and students have a strong idea that design should start with a research component. This can be a limiting thought for students with different learning preferences. We therefore recommend to offer the research and design processes in a more differentiated and varied manner to students.