STEM PROJECT-BASED APPROACH IN ENHANCING CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND INVENTIVE THINKING SKILLS AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

  • Salmiza Saleh
  • Azila Muhammad
  • Syed Mohamad Syed Abdullah

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Formal learning in schools generally does not provide enough engagement for students to grasp the science concepts and skills taught to them. Therefore, the structured informal learning activities such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) integrated project-based learning is vital for students to partake in the more meaningful science learning process as it involves interdisciplinary activities. Hence, this paper discusses the study that underlies the structured informal learning activity, the STEM project-based approach, in enhancing conceptual understanding and inventive thinking skills among secondary school students.

 

Methodology: A quasi-experimental research design concerning treatment and control groups with pre-test as the covariate was employed in this project. The sample was selected based on the purposive sampling approach. Seventy Form Four students (33 male students and 37 female students) from a secondary school in Kedah, Malaysia were divided into 35 students of a controlled group (received conventional approach) and 35 students of the treatment group (followed STEM project-based approach). Data collected via the Newtonian Conceptual Understanding Test (NCUT) and Inventive Thinking Skills Test (ITST) were then analysed descriptively and inferentially.

 

Findings: The structured informal learning activity, the STEM project-based approach, was found effective in enhancing conceptual understanding and inventive thinking skills among secondary school students.  Further analysis showed that the elements of thinking skills (management and adaptation to complexity, self-regulation, curiosity, creativity, risk-readiness, and high-order thinking skills and sound reasoning) were also improved among students who followed STEM project-based approach.

 

Contributions: The study highlighted the importance of a structured informal learning activity, such as the STEM project-based approach in assisting students to grasp the science concepts and develop the required 21st-century learning skills besides formal learning in schools.

 

Keywords: Conceptual understanding, inventive thinking skills, Newtonian physics, physics education, secondary school students.

 

Cite as: Saleh, S., Muhammad, A., & Syed Abdullah, S. M. (2019). STEM project-based approach in enhancing conceptual understanding and inventive thinking skills among secondary school students.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 5(1), 234-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol5iss1pp234-254

Author Biographies

Salmiza Saleh

School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Gelugor, Pulau Pinang

Azila Muhammad

SMK Ibrahim, 08000 Sg. Petani, Kedah.

Syed Mohamad Syed Abdullah

School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Gelugor, Pulau Pinang

Published
2020-01-30
How to Cite
Saleh, S., Muhammad, A., & Syed Abdullah, S. M. (2020). STEM PROJECT-BASED APPROACH IN ENHANCING CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND INVENTIVE THINKING SKILLS AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 5(1), 234-254. https://doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol5iss1pp234-254