Published Oct 5, 2018

Zhaobing Zeng

Jijun Yao  

Hui Gu

Robert Przybylski


Does STEM education improve students' higher-level thinking and cognitive abilities? So far, empirical research has not yielded consistent conclusions. As such, this study applied the method of meta-analysis to synthesize quantitatively existing research to better understand STEM and its effects on students’ abilities associated with learning. The study found that STEM education is conducive to improving students' higher-order thinking and cognitive ability levels with an effect size of (d = 0.798). The results indicate that teaching methods and student experiences in STEM education have a positive effect on student learning.


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STEM Education, Higher-Order Thinking, Higher-Order Cognitive Abilities, Student Learning

Supporting Agencies

(1) China Humanities and Social Sciences Research Fund Project (2018) for the Ministry of Education: Studies on the Influencing Factors and Mechanisms of STEM on Primary and Secondary School Students’ (Project Approval Number: 18YJA880108); and (2) the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education (China).

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How to Cite
Zeng, Z., Yao, J., Gu, H., & Przybylski, R. (2018). A Meta-Analysis on the Effects of STEM Education on Students’ Abilities. Science Insights Education Frontiers, 1(1), 3–16. https://doi.org/10.15354/sief.18.re005