Overcoming the challenges in K-12 STEM education

Sohailah Alyammahi, Rachad Zaki, Hassan Barada, Yousof Al-Hammadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


New studies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have investigated the factors why students do or do not appreciate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses. Many indicators point mainly to the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of teachers. The main purpose of this paper is to identify significant factors that affect teachers' effectiveness. This is done through an analysis of the results of a twenty-four-question survey, developed by the authors, given to 200 STEM teachers, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, in public and private schools across the country. A literature review consisting of comparable studies in other countries served as a backdrop to the many trends discovered in the analysis of teachers' responses. Furthermore, the authors provide additional critical interpretations to address the unique nature of the findings in the UAE educational system. Overall, the findings point to the dire need to address teachers' dissatisfaction with the teaching profession in the UAE. Specifically, addressing monetary compensation, improving the curricula, lack of resources and providing professional guidance via development courses and seminars are necessary if teachers are to be more effective in the classroom. The paper also provides recommendations that can improve the current conditions, not only in the UAE, but also in other regions of the world being affected by the same.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2016 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2016
Subtitle of host publication"Smart Education in Smart Cities"
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781467386333
StatePublished - 19 May 2016
Event2016 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2016 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 10 Apr 201613 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Conference2016 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi


  • grade K-12
  • parents
  • STEM
  • students' performance
  • teacher effectiveness
  • UAE


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