The other day, I admitted that I had all along had no idea that 4G meant 4th generation. Then, a FB friend asked me if I knew the meaning of LTE. Again, I didn’t have a clue. He then told me that LTE stood for ‘Long Term Evolution.’
This is interesting because since the terms came from mobile technology, I had assumed that they were highly technical jargon, and hence did not bother to figure out their meaning. It never occurred to me that they were simply abbreviations of non-technical phrases.
Now, what about the currently popular term STEM in education? Since our background knowledge tells us that it is related to curriculum development, we quickly assume that it is an abbreviation that stands for areas of knowledge, and will likely attempt to figure out what the 4 letters stand for. And indeed, that is the case. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.)