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To increase engagement in STEM and improve its gender parity in education, make subject learning real world.
In this article we share a key recommendation from a study commissioned by The Women’s Foundation, HK (TWF).
The study titled “Gender Difference in Choosing STEM Subjects at Secondary School and University in Hong Kong” aimed to understand the causes contributing to the under-representation of women in STEM subjects in HKDSE (Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education) and the factors contributing to their dropout from STEM fields at multiple stages of education.
Within its findings, the study recommends, “To promote STEM, we believe educators, schools and teachers should consider making math or science-related subjects more relevant to students’ real life.”
It further explains that “most students, both females and males, began to lose interest and confidence in math after promoting to senior secondary school. They complained the subject matters of math have become increasingly abstract…”.
Making subject learning real world takes away the need for rote memorisation, this is something students have expressed their frustrations over. One student, whose name was anonymised said, “Please teach us something that we could apply to our daily lives.” Students also expressed concerns over the teaching styles not being based on understanding but rote memorisation – “The teacher gives us the formulas to memorise but I want to know how and why the formula is formed.”
You can download and read the report here.
We would love to hear your stories about how technology has made your classroom more inclusive.
We are proud to have worked with TWF on delivering the Girls’ Go Teach program for 3 years. Through this we were able to impact over 1200 girls at more than 20 schools in Hong Kong.
Girls’ Go Tech is a 1 year long program aimed to increase the confidence of girls in STEM by training them on coding, computing and problem solving skills to maximise their future career options.