STEM education in the United Arab Emirates: Challenges and possibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education has become a popular learning approach globally in the 21st century. This is because the world is on the brink of a technological revolution which has its roots in these fields. The present study takes an in-depth look into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) economy as a model that has exemplified the drive towards innovation and a knowledge-driven economy to meet up with current realities. The present study was framed as a theoretical review to address the topic under consideration, relying on evidence from relevant literature. A total of 63 articles were reviewed and they include government reports, news publications, primary research studies, and theoretical analysis. These materials were utilized to comprehensively synthesize research on the current stance of STEM education in the UAE, as well as the challenges faced, and projected possibilities. Findings revealed that the UAE has made better progress but is limited by challenges such as lack of interest in STEM fields by UAE nationals and, the inaccessibility of STEM education across all age groups and income earners. In the face of opportunities such as the development of collaborative learning, a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) boost of at least 12% and, the preparation of Emiratis for the future workplace, recommendations were made. This present study recommends that still there is need for intensification of effort on personal and professional development for teachers of STEM which will consequently affect the interest of students in STEM fields. Also, STEM education should be made accessible across all age groups and all citizens, regardless of their financial status. Further research should focus on expanding the scale of this research to include a participant pool in order to elicit responses and reflections from a group of students, schools, or instructors, using more in-depth qualitative research methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-332
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • STEM
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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