Conference recommends earlier promotion of maths and sciences

Summary

Many students develop a negative perception of mathematics, technology and science between the age of eight and 11

An education conference has called for action to inspire kids aged eight to 11 to study maths and sciences. Is this a good idea?

Education conference reveals students' negative perception of certain subjects

Many students develop a negative perception of mathematics, technology and science between the age of eight and 11. That is the main conclusion of a survey in 10 countries, presented during the SECURE education conference in Mechelen this week, co-ordinated by the Thomas More University College.

SECURE, which stands for Science Education Curriculum Research is an EU project that works to provide research data that can assist policymakers and educators to improve their curricula in maths, sciences and technology.

Education experts at Mechelen recommended promotion of the so-called STEM studies (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) earlier in schools through practical lessons and experiments.

In each of the 10 participating countries, about 45 classes with students ages five, eight, 11 and 13 were surveyed. The survey also showed that students are most motivated by active study methods that go beyond books. The teachers also offered their opinion on STEM studies, indicating that they need more relevant lesson materials to motivate students.