Bruner, J. (1977). The process of education.

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STEM

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Bruner, J. (1977). The process of education.

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

1995

Chapter 2 The Importance of Structure

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Learning should not only take us somewhere; it should allow us later to go further more easily. There are two ways in which learning serves the future. One is through its specific applicability to tasks that are highly similar to those we originally learned to perform. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as specific transfer of training; perhaps it should be called the extension of habits or associations. Its utility appears to be limited in the main to what we usually speak of as skills. (p.17)

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A second way in which earlier learning renders later performance more efficient is through what is conveniently called nonspecific transfer or, more accurately, the transfer of principles and attitudes. In essence, it consists of learning initially not a skill but a general idea, which can then be used as a basis for recognizing subsequent problems as special cases of the idea originally mastered. This type of transfer is at the heart of the educational process—the continual broadening and deepening of knowledge in terms of basic and general ideas.

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The continuity of learning that is produced by the second type of transfer, transfer of principles, is dependent upon

mastery of the structure of the subject matter

…in order for a person to be able to recognize the applicability or inapplicability of an idea to a new situation and to broaden his learning thereby, he must have clearly in mind the general nature of the phenomenon with which he is dealing. The more fundamental or basic is the idea he has learned, almost by definition, the greater will be its breadth of applicability to new problems. (p.18)

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STEM

For most, it means only science and mathematics, even though the products of technology and engineering have so greatly influenced everyday life. A true STEM education should increase students' understanding of how things work and improve their use of technologies. STEM education should also introduce more engineering during precollege education.

Engineering is directly involved in problem solving and innovation, two themes with high priorities on every nation's agenda. Given its economic importance to society, students should learn about engineering and develop some of the skills and abilities associated with the design process.

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T echnology Engineering Mathematics

Bybee, R. W. (2010). What is STEM Education? Science 329 (5995) pp. 996–996

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