About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8362-8366
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.0953

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain


B. Kopp, H. Mandl, S. Niedermeier

Ludwig-Maximilians-University (GERMANY)
In Germany, the discussion of values is actually a hot topic in society. Specifically in STEM education, values are of great necessity as the existence and continuity of countries, cultures, and individuals is based on values and their transfer to individuals’ thinking and doing. This transfer takes place as so called value education in families, but also in schools as main official institution for the socialization of individuals (Berkowitz, 2011).

In STEM context, values are almost 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. Thus, we developed a specific model for values in STEM context in order to foster value education in elementary schools in Germany. In this model, we differentiated values into two levels: content-related values which are concretely connected to the content which is taught and learning process-related values which are connected to the strategies which are relevant during the experiment in order to fulfill the tasks successfully.

In this study, the integration of values took place in a learning environment that uses experiments as main method. This environment focused on three main topics:
(1) environment,
(2) energy, and
(3) health.

Furthermore, we implemented two further didactical methods in order to improve value education: impulse techniques and dilemmas. Impulse techniques could be realized verbally (e.g. questions, prompts) and non-verbally (e.g. gestures, pictures). With these techniques, unconscious opinions, attitudes, or beliefs should get unfolded in order to trigger learning processes, discussions, and reflections. Dilemmas are situations with minimally two alternatives which each include a conflict that could not be easily solved. Whatever solution is chosen, it is always connected to positive and negative consequences. Thus, dilemmas evoke value-related conflicts through controversial discussions.

In order to evaluate the implementation of values in STEM education using impulse techniques and dilemmas, we conducted two studies: In the first study, we didactically designed three experiments each connected to one content area, (1) environment, (2) energy, and (3) health. We implemented the material in three classrooms and tested them. In order to see, whether they were successful, two data sources were used: observations and interviews. The results of the observations showed that students were able to discuss the values with impulses and dilemmas, even though they needed some support from the teacher. These results were supported by the interviews of the teachers. Furthermore, the use of impulses and dilemmas could stimulate discussions and raise the awareness of the values taught.

In the second study, we enlarged the experiments to nine learning modules and included the same techniques as in study 1. To test the material, we interviewed five teachers asking the same questions as in study 1. Again, the teachers confirmed the successful realization of values in STEM context.
Both studies showed that value education could be fostered in STEM context using impulses and dilemmas. In spite of these first results, it is necessary to do further research to get more differentiated analyses on the effects of the integration of values in STEM context.

[1] Berkowitz, M.W. (2011). The science of character education. Hoover Press: Stanford.
author = {Kopp, B. and Mandl, H. and Niedermeier, S.},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.0953},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.0953},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {8362-8366}}
AU - B. Kopp AU - H. Mandl AU - S. Niedermeier
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.0953
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 8362
EP - 8366
ER -
B. Kopp, H. Mandl, S. Niedermeier (2016) EVALUATING THE INTEGRATION OF VALUES IN STEM EDUCATION, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 8362-8366.