STEAM Ed: 21st Century Learning Approach
- June 3, 2015
- Posted by: drwale2000
- Category: Hobbies,
What is STEAM?
STEAM education is a program that foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer. The addition of the arts to the original STEM framework is important as practices, such as modeling, developing explanations, and engaging in critique, and evaluation (argumentation), have too often been underemphasized in the context of math & science education.
STEAM empowers teachers to employ project-based learning that crosses all 5 disciplines (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) and fosters an inclusive learning environment where all students are able to engage and contribute. As opposed to traditional models of teaching, educators using the STEAM framework bring the disciplines together, leveraging the dynamic synergy between the modeling process and math and science content in order to blur the boundaries between modeling techniques and scientific / mathematical thinking. Through this holistic approach, students are able to exercise both sides of their brain at once.
Why is STEAM so Important?
In today’s world, setting students up for future success means exposing them to these disciplines holistically in order to develop their critical thinking skills. “Education is under pressure to respond to a changing world,” writes Jeevan Vasagar in a Financial Times article, Countries that excel at problem-solving encourage critical thinking. “As repetitive tasks are eroded by technology and outsourcing, the ability to solve novel problems have become increasingly vital.”
And the earlier students are exposed to the STEAM disciplines, the better. In a study by Microsoft Corporation it was shown that 4 in 5 STEM college students (78%) say that they decided to study STEM in high school or earlier and one in five (21%) decided in middle school or earlier. Yet, only 1 in 5 STEM college students feel that their K–12 education prepared them extremely well for their college courses in STEM. There also appears to be a major disparity in the female to male ratio when it comes to those employed in STEAM fields. Getting more girls interested in STEAM disciplines is another facet of the movement.
Not only does a STEAM framework teach students how to think critically, problem solve and use creativity, it prepares students to work in a field that is poised for growth.
Moving from the current standard approach to teaching towards a holistic interdisciplinary method only makes sense in a world facing so many challenges and opportunities.