Let’s look at STEAM, what is it you ask? It is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, only it’s now including Arts!
We need to add Art + Design to the equation — to transform, STEM into STEAM.
As educators, this is the latest strategy for structuring the curriculum and relevant activities. Moving away from “the silo effect” (all subjects separated) to a blend of all the necessary subjects ‘STEAM’.
Many educators – including Sir Ken Robinson – have been advocating more creative education systems for years.
Ken Robinson mentions in his TED Talk on education the whole world is changing but the education system upon which we rely to develop our future human resources is focusing on more analytical brains with traditional learning subjects producing “battery hens”. Let’s have a look at this TED talk ,’Do schools kill creativity’.
Why have the specialists in education included Arts? Well, let’s look at the left/right brain functions when learning for individual students:
Previously in our education system it was predominantly left brain-orientated. Science, maths, engineering and analytical thoughts. However now there is more of an emphasis on the right brain bringing in creativity, imagination, insight, arts and design.
So, the education system is evolving to now include arts & design. It is suggested that proper infusion of the Arts will create a STEAM culture. This engages and promotes intrinsic learning, to then develop ‘students of the world’. More of a real life learning, similar to our everyday life with critical thinking, problem solving, arts and design with a blend of skills learned from Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics as a whole.
The Rhode Island School of Design advocates innovation which remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects. They believe Art + Design are poised to transform the economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century.
Today, we all have to agree technology has transformed our lives from careers, consumer spending, communication and more importantly education. With more emphasis on being innovative and creative to succeed, which is where the arts & design are being utilised.
Many schools around the globe are embracing arts & design within the curriculum from foundations stages to end of school. Independent schools are able to gain a competitive edge by embracing learning strategies like STEAM.
Let’s look at STEAM activities on Pinterest for the classroom for great ideas.
Other articles on STEAM/STEM see below:
- Art in K-12 Is Key to Building a Strong Economy
- Interesting article on Stem Vs Steam does the arts belong
- Understanding STEM in the Early Years