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Kopp, Birgitta; Mandl, Heinz; Niedermeier, Sandra (2016): Evaluating the integration of values in stem education. In: Gómez Chova, Louis; López Martínez, A.; Candel Torres, I. (eds.) : INTED 2016 : conference proceedings. Valencia: IATED Academy. pp. 8362-8366
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Abstract

Values are of great importance for society as the existence and continuity of countries, cultures, and individuals is based on values and their transfer to individuals' thinking and doing. In STEM context, values are often neglected, even though especially natural scientific subjects need them in order to sensitize individuals for key issues which have not only effects on individuals, but also on society, and on earth. To foster the sensitization of values in STEM context, we didactically enriched experimental material for students in the 3(rd) and 4(th) grade of elementary school with impulses and dilemmas to stimulate reflection on own opinions and values. Therefore, we conducted two studies to evaluate the integration of values in STEM education. In the first study, three modules were tested in real classes (two 3rd grade, one 4th grade) using observation and evaluation data. In the second study, we asked five teachers to evaluate nine further modules regarding the integration of the value aspect realized with impulses and dilemmas. Both studies showed positive results. The students understood the problems in the impulses and dilemmas and were able to discuss them adequately. Specifically the dilemma stories fit very well to the everyday life of the students, so that they were able to take the diverse perspectives of the protagonists in the story and to justify the different arguments with pros and cons. Even though, the integration was successful, there are two minor remarks: First, three dilemmas were changed after the evaluation in order to adapt them better to the content and living environment of the students. And second, students need the help of the teacher to use the new didactical methods adequately.