Recent studies show that many of the current and future careers involve some form of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) integration. The new development of school STEM education provides opportunities for students to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to face the challenges ahead. Involving students with different disabilities in STEM learning is of particular importance and usefulness because we should not deprive them of opportunities to engage in STEM fields in the future. However, how to expose students with intellectual disabilities (ID) to STEM learning have not been well explored. STEM learning can mean something different to each teacher, and how they integrate it into their classrooms may also differ. There are suggestions to use inquiry, engineering, and technology to support students with special needs. In the design of STEM learning for students who have ID, teachers from a special school constructed a 4E model of engaging, exploring, engineering, and explaining, which emphasizes inquiry and at the same time leverages technology and engineering to integrate learning content into a purposeful and informed way to improve student engagement in lessons. Lesson observations were conducted to study students’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral engagement in lessons. Results showed that students with mild ID in the classes responded and worked actively, while those with moderate ID asked for more assistance. Moreover, it was found that students were less involved in explaining. This research provides a practical model and evidence of student engagement in STEM learning. Copyright © 2022 International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE).
CitationSo, W. W. M., He, Q., Chen, Y., Li, W. C., Cheng, I. N. Y., & Lee, T. T. H. (2022). Engaging students with intellectual disability in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning. Science Education International, 33(1), 25-37. doi: 10.33828/sei.v33.i1.3
- Students with intellectual disability
- STEM learning
- Student engagement