The STEM Subjects and Their Barriers


The growing pressure in education is creating a serious impact on students' perceptions of subjects like Science and Mathematics. 

These days everybody is about grades and nobody cares about challenging themselves. Science and Mathematics make the students challenge themselves but the grades will not be what one expects.

According to many surveys taken the interest in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) subjects is declining rapidly. Some insight into the factors that might cause a decline in the interests of STEM will help us possibly.


When and Why Do They Lose Interest? 



Studies and Surveys say that students of age 12 to 14 decide whether they should study Science or not. 

But students of age 10 to 11 perceived that these subjects are difficult to learn. If they decide whether to study science or not, this early and being unfamiliar with these subjects, it is really not that strange if they don’t choose them.

Learning and teaching methods, the assessment, and the curriculum are highly influential in the student’s interest in STEM subjects.


1. Teaching


The method of teaching is an important factor in these subjects. Because with teachers who do not understand the subject themselves teaching the students will not give the desired effect that is required. Maybe the teacher does not know how to explain the context correctly which will also result in this problem. 

Teacher’s qualifications, recruitment, and retention are also one of the issues.


2. Learning


Learning is also a problem with this issue. The students also consider the content out of relevance with the outside world. When you think the content as irrelevant there will be no interest in the subject. 

Understanding and learning is the only option to confront STEM subjects. Memorizing won’t work with subjects like mathematics.


3. Perceived difficulty


Another frequently cited reason for this decline is the perceived difficulty of STEM. 

Students consider these subjects difficult because it is hard to get good grades compared to other subjects. This attitude comes from several influencers like parents, teachers, and society. The pressure from society is increasing day to day making it difficult for the students.


4. Gender


Gender is considered a factor for this declining interest in STEM. The reasons range from peer pressure to support from parents as well as teachers. But nowadays girls are starting to outperform in these subjects. It still may be a factor but there is a fact that their interests are different from men.


5. Influencers


Teachers, parents, and peers are the main influencers in a student’s life, and when they say something pessimistic it will create a negative impact with the student causing a declining interest in STEM. 

The media has also been accused of negatively impacting students by stereotypic advertisements claiming the difficulty of STEM. The parental influence is both negative and stereotypical than their peers.


6. Poor or Non-Existent Advice 


One of the problems in attracting and creating interest in STEM is poor or non-existing career advice. In many cases, the students have no idea what a scientist or a mathematician can do to contribute to society. People are still unaware of the fact that there is a deficiency in the STEM field. 

The job opportunities are also not known among people.

The major barriers to the STEM subjects are, the need for quality teaching, the unbreakable stereotypes about success, the perceived difficulty, poor career advice, and so on. The only solution to these problems is creating awareness among people and let them know of the current condition. 


Written by - Jaime A. 

Edited by - Rudransh Khurana



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