Language Matters: How Focusing on Linguistics Promotes STEM Literacy

Differentiating between STEM subjects and STEM education

Andrew B. Raupp

--

Image: Shutterstock ID# 1285858291 / Language Illustration

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

The term “STEM” frequently appears in discussions related to education, given that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are now essential elements of contemporary curricula. However, the distinction between STEM subjects and STEM education is often blurred, leading to confusion and misconceptions about the goals and benefits of STEM education. As the world grows increasingly interconnected and technology-dependent, it is crucial to recognize the importance of linguistics in promoting STEM literacy and clarifying misunderstandings.

Linguistics: Bridging the Gap

Linguistics, the scientific study of language and its structure, serves as a bridge between STEM subjects and STEM education. Linguistics plays a pivotal role in enhancing our understanding of how we communicate and comprehend complex scientific and technological concepts. In other words, it helps us dissect and analyze the language of STEM, making it more accessible to a broader audience.

By examining the way we discuss STEM subjects, linguistics can help us address misconceptions and promote STEM literacy more effectively. For instance, STEM subjects often involve highly technical jargon, which can be intimidating and confusing for those not well-versed in the respective fields. Linguistics can help educators and communicators refine their language to convey complex ideas in a more digestible and inclusive manner.

Defining STEM Subjects and STEM Education

To appreciate the significance of linguistics in promoting STEM literacy, it is vital to understand the difference between STEM subjects and STEM education.

“STEM subjects refer to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These are the specific fields of study that form the foundation of modern technological advancements and scientific discoveries. Examples include physics, computer…

--

--

Andrew B. Raupp

Founder STEM.org Educational Research | @Newsweek | International Federation of Journalists #IFJ | Top Writer STEM Education