Correspondence | Published:

STEM teaching: use more innovations

Nature volume 524, page 161 (13 August 2015) | Download Citation

Two other concerns should be added to your prescriptions for improving teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM; see Nature 523, 272–274 and 282–284; 2015).

We know that smaller class sizes and classrooms designed for active learning give better academic outcomes (S. Cotner et al. J. Coll. Sci. Teach. 42, 82–88; 2013), yet budgetary pressures discourage institutions from abandoning big lecture halls in favour of small classes.

Also, there should not be separate faculty tracks for teaching and research. Teaching positions rarely include research support, so they do not offer the same academic opportunities as research faculty positions.

These issues are ultimately about institutional and administrative buy-in. The success of STEM students depends on institutions investing in improved learning facilities and on administrators providing research, tenure and promotion opportunities for those who teach.

Author information


  1. Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA.

    • Luke Holbrook


  1. Search for Luke Holbrook in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Luke Holbrook.

About this article

Publication history




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing