1st Edition

Ways of Thinking in STEM-based Problem Solving Teaching and Learning in a New Era

Edited By Lyn D. English, Timothy Lehmann Copyright 2025
    320 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    320 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Taking a future-oriented approach, this book addresses students’ ways of thinking in STEM-based problem solving. It provides a rich set of chapters that explore how we can advance important thinking skills in STEM education for K-12 students. 

    STEM education is essential to understanding and solving many of the world’s major challenges. However, the kind of interdisciplinary modes of thinking required to tackle such unforeseen problems is lacking in most STEM education delivery. The book examines the various modes of thinking that can be applied to effective STEM-based problem solving across K-12 education. The modes include design and design-based thinking, systems thinking and modelling, critical thinking, innovative and adaptive thinking, intuition in problem solving, and computational and algorithmic thinking. Across the chapters, the authors’ interdisciplinary perspectives give further depth to understanding how students learn and apply their thinking to solve STEM-based problems. The book also provides guidance on how to assess ways of thinking in STEM education, to ensure educators can recognize students’ progress and development.

    Bringing together a team of international experts, this book is essential reading for pre-service teachers, teacher educators and researchers in STEM education.

    Chapter 1. STEM-based Problem Solving and Thinking in a New Era

    Lyn D. English

    Chapter 2. STEM in a changing world: What is valuable and valued

    Karen Skilling and Wonyong Park

    Chapter 3. Global creative disruption and implications for STEM-based problem solving and learning 

    Bill Lucas and Janet Rosalind Hanson

    Chapter 4. STEM ways of thinking: Elementary grade learners’ possibility and adaptive thinking in STEM-rich contexts 

    Amber Simpson, David Slavit and Kristin Lesseig

    Chapter 5. The critical role of intuition in problem solving 

    Elif Eda Miskioğlu, Kaela Martin, and Adam Carberry

    Chapter 6. Nexus for STEM Problem Solving and Transfer Research: Instruction First or Productive Failure First?

    Michael Jacobson, John Vulic, and James A. Levin

    Chapter 7. Students’ Systems Modeling: A Classroom of the Future  
    Steven Roderick, Daniel Damelin, and Lynn Stephens

    Chapter 8. Systems thinking in the early grades

    Systems Thinking Association in Türkiye

    Chapter 9. Systems Thinking Journeys of Preschool Teachers: A Leverage Point for Problem Solving  

    Ezgi Şenyurt-Öztürk and Şebnem Feriver

    Chapter 10. Perspectives on Design Thinking within STEM

    Greg J. Strimel

    Chapter 11. Design-based thinking in problem solving in technology and across the STEM disciplines 

    Jonas Hallström and Konrad J. Schönborn

    Chapter 12. Engineering Design in STEM-based Problem Solving

    Margret A. Hjalmarson and Johnna Bolyard

    Chapter 13. Engineering design reasoning for conscientious decision-making

    Senay Purzer

    Chapter 14. Critical thinking in STEM education

    Eva Jablonka and Richard Barwell

    Chapter 15. Critical Thinking in Mathematics and Mathematical Modelling Related to STEM 

    Anita Schuchardt and Gillian Roehrig

    Chapter 16. Computer programming puzzles, mathematics education, and the culture of learning

    George Gadanidis, Janette M. Hughes, Immaculate Namukasa and Ricardo Scucuglia  

    Chapter 17. Computational Problem Solving in STEM education

    Timothy Lehman

    Chapter 18. Challenges in assessing students’ STEM-based problem solving

    Zeyu Han, Winnie Wing Mui So, and Zhi Hong Wan

    Chapter 19. Ways of thinking and STEM-based problem solving: Towards the future 

    Michael K. Daugherty and Vinson Carter


    Lyn D. English is Professor of mathematics/STEM education at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Her areas of research include mathematics/STEM education, ways of thinking in integrated STEM-based problem solving, mathematical modelling, engineering education, and reasoning with probability and statistics. She is a Fellow of The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and the founding editor (1997) of the international journal, Mathematical Thinking and Learning (Taylor & Francis).  

    Timothy Lehmann is Senior Lecturer in secondary mathematics education at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia. His areas of research are the teaching and learning of secondary mathematics topics including measurement, calculus, discrete mathematics, and the development of computational thinking in mathematics and STEM education.