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STEM + values
Promotion of values in experimentation instruction
Values create a fundamental base for personal growth of the individual and life in a society. They play a critical role in our thinking, our activities and our interactions with others. Values provide a sense of direction, guide us and strengthen our identity. For this reason, the sharing and teaching of values must be given a high priority. Children should be encouraged from the very beginning of their lives to develop their own set of values.
In addition to the family, schools are responsible for communicating values. Supplied with these principles, children and adolescents should be able to find the bearings they need to navigate their way through a complex world and play a part in society.
The approaches and methods used in science and technology education are particularly well-suited ways to promote values-based thinking and actions among students. The questions addressed here require the ability to collaborate, communicate and reflect in order to develop joint solution processes. Such instruction encourages attitudes, skills and mindsets that enable individuals to become self-confident, responsible and socially oriented members of society.
In addition, science and technology education must explore the social relevance of the subjects being taught and embolden students to reflect on the interplay of natural sciences, technology and our society and to critically evaluate this relationship.
Understanding this, the Siemens Stiftung promotes the development of values as part of science and technology education provided in schools and on the basis of its international educational program Experimento. Along with cooperation partners, we develop teaching and learning materials. Our aim is to expose students during experiments to values-formulating questions and to provide teachers with model experimentation units for inclusive instruction. In addition, we complement Experimento with related teaching and learning methods, including service learning, an approach in which society-relevant values can be taught through specific application.