International Dialogue on STEM Education
International STEM Network for sustainable development
Together with the foundation Haus der kleinen Forscher (Little Scientists’ House), we lead the global peer network International Dialogue on STEM Education (IDoS). The network connects global education stakeholders and developers in the field of early childhood STEM education for Sustainable Development along with local networks in an international ecosystem for education innovation. Interaction and collaboration within the IDoS network supports locally-anchored and globally-informed STEM education development. Currently, there are six members: Siemens Stiftung, Stiftung Haus der kleinen Forscher, Smithsonian Science Education Center, LUMA Finnland, La main á la pâte, and Office for Climate Education.
Education, and STEM education for sustainable development in particular, is essential for preparing children for thriving in a quickly-changing world. This belief unites education stakeholders around the world, whether they work in research or in the classroom. There are several national initiatives and programs that advance early education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. Mostly missing has been an international dialog among stakeholders – until now. In a globalized world that can only address great challenges through international cooperation, it is essential to share concepts and practices for early childhood and scholastic learning.
Sustainable from the start: Early childhood STEM education in focus
Together with the foundation Haus der kleinen Forscher and under the patronage of the German UNESCO Commission, we launched the biannual International Dialogue on STEM conference in 2017 to learn from each other through the exchange of new ideas and inspiration. Since then, our initiative has expanded and become a peer network that makes systematic and regular interaction at an international level possible: Anyone involved can learn from and with global leaders in early childhood STEM education (known as “IDoS Peers”) and make national efforts in this field more efficient, effective, and evidence-based.
Based on global future competencies
The network is aligned with global education and sustainability goals as defined by the OECD Learning Compass 2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Participating organizations working within their own national networks join the IDoS network in supporting an “ecosystem for education innovation” in which STEM education (for sustainable development) can be developed, professionalized, and impactfully implemented on a global scale.
IDoS 2021: Launching the peer dialog
The first virtual meeting of the International Peer Dialogue on STEM Education took place in June 2021 with representatives from the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Siemens Stiftung, and Haus der kleinen Forscher. The network, which shares best practices from education work around the world, will continue to expand.
IDoS 2019: Conference on STEM education for sustainable development
The second International Dialogue on STEM Education brought more than 100 participants to Berlin for a conference on early childhood education. The participants from 30 countries included experts; decision-makers in the policy, economy, civil society, and culture sectors; and representatives from leading global initiatives. On 5 and 6 December 2019, the conference focused on everything pertaining to STEM education for sustainable development. Based on the conference’s guiding question, “How can we use STEM education to enable children to create sustainable societies?”, workshops addressed a number of subjects, such as integrating indigenous knowledge into education, design thinking approaches for developing education innovation, and policy implementation of STEM initiatives.
2019 was also the first time the conference published a position paper, “Using Science to Do Social Good: STEM Education for Sustainable Development,” which cemented the commitment of all signatories within the international alliance.
IDoS 2017: Conference on future STEM competencies
A successful start: Around 100 experts from all over the world came to Berlin on 2 and 3 November 2017 for the first International Dialogue on STEM. The conference addressed the question, “what skills and capabilities do children need for a dignified life, and how can we help them learn these?” Participants took part in engaging keynote speeches, podium discussions, and working groups on early childhood and primary education for children aged three to ten. In addition to topics such as quality control and competency acquisition, the conference also addressed an expanded definition of STEM that includes aspects of sustainability, language, value education as well as art and creativity. The ideas and inspirations led to global momentum for pedagogic and policy strategies.
The International Dialogue on STEM is an initiative by Siemens Stiftung and the foundation Haus der kleinen Forscher (Little Scientists’ House). The peer dialog also receives support from the Smithsonian Science Education Center.
Are you interested in becoming a part of our international network, or would you like to learn more about it? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!