The need for positive pedagogy in multi-disciplinary STEM courses in higher education: an opinion piece

Shukla, Priyank, McClean, Stephen and Hidson, Elizabeth (2020) The need for positive pedagogy in multi-disciplinary STEM courses in higher education: an opinion piece. Higher Education Pedagogies, 5 (1). pp. 324-326. ISSN 2375-2696

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Abstract

In the context of market demands and expectations from STEM graduates, we are moving from an
era of specialization to super-specialization to multi-specialization courses. In coming future, a
significant proportion of the next generation of STEM graduates will come from multidisciplinary
courses (e.g. Personalised Medicine) involving interdisciplinary (e.g. Bioinformatics) and crossdisciplinary
subjects (e.g. Computer Science). These courses are very challenging to learn for the
basic reasons of their diverse nature, the aptitude required for learning and the number of
subjects involved in these courses. This challenge is compounded by the expectation that students
will learn not only all of them with equal knowledge and skills but will also be able to integrate
and apply them. Essentially, we want to create “super-graduates” who know everything (as many
STEM subjects as possible) and can do anything (e.g. conduct lab-based experimental work, write
computer programs, perform data analysis, etc.). Considering that most of these multi-disciplinary
courses are new, most of the time they lack appropriately tailored teaching methods. This leads to
a significant portion of this challenge (of learning those diverse subjects) being delegated directly
to the students, causing huge stress and anxiety among them. Therefore, there is an urgent need
for research in the field of Positive Pedagogy for multi-disciplinary STEM courses in higher
education. This opinion piece will reflect on an ongoing AdvanceHE funded project which authors
are conducting, draw facts and figures on the current state of multi-disciplinary STEM courses in
HE, and the pedagogic research available for the same.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education > Educational Research
Education > Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Elizabeth Hidson
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2020 13:49
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2020 13:49
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/12801
ORCID for Priyank Shukla: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4985-9305
ORCID for Stephen McClean: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9718-6689
ORCID for Elizabeth Hidson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7387-5666

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