What I've been wrestling with lately - the STEM STEAM debate.
I'm cranky about misunderstanding #stem & #steam
#STEM is the #learning of science tech engineering maths thru #interdisciplinary #integrated app.
#stem more than a science project that uses ICT Calculates a problem & drws a machine interdisciplinary learning removes disciplinary silos
#STEAM is not in opposition to #STEM it enriches expands & creates new #creative thinking possibilities #humancentereddesign
I ranted on twitter, but it didn't feel enough. I need to spend some more time on this, and then do some work in the field. I need to gather stories and develop some good arts based pedagogies with my students. I'm working on designing a #steam project for a year 7 cohort in East Melbourne that examines climate & indigenous seasons.
The first issue: Arts Integration
In my Phd, I explored my experience of arts integration (Silverstein & Layne, 2010) at Horizon High School in Colorado in 2005. It was, as Eisner referred, a cultural bridge.
As arts integration coordinator, I was responsible for building bridges of creativity between art and other disciplinary spaces, for my students, but also between my own artist self and teacher self. It was an encounter with contiguity as embodiment. After years of silo disciplinary teaching, integration is hard. It asks that you think rhizomatically, design multiple opportunities in multiple spaces and provide opportunities for multiplicities. You need to let go, and facilitate students to follow the rhizome, cut it off and plant it somewhere else to grow and spread wider, grow differently.
“Arts based learning illuminates gaps and limitation in current ideas and helps students to organize frameworks and structures through which they can test limits and develop new structures that bridge the gaps between that which is known and that which will be created (Eisner, 1972)” (in Smilan, Torres de Eça, Kakourou-Chroni & Reis, N.D, p.2).
This bridge brought arts based learning into a new world of learning, integrated and transformative for me as art based researcher and educator and for my students to learn in the creative gaps found between the disciplines.
“Arts integration provides multiple ways for students to make sense of what they learn (construct understanding) and make their learning visible (demonstrate knowledge and understanding). It goes beyond the initial step of helping students learn and recall information to challenging students to take the information and facts they have learned and do something with them to build deeper understanding” (Silverstein & Layne, 2010, p.3).
The spaces we made visible through integration were transformative and were the first times I had been involved in bringing my world of knowing and doing to another.
Eisner believed that "art has to function in students lives, outside of the context of schooling, and teachers make this happen by creating bridges between what they are studying in school and the life that they're going to be leading outside of school" (Eisner, in Tishman & Palley, 2010, p.13).
The second issue: STEM
Holm (2014) tells us that "STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications" .
So when the arts are integrated into this applied equation and interdisciplinary learning space, the solutions to the human-centred problems are wider, deeper, creative and critical. But not just because you added in the A.
“Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both” (Silverstein & Layne, 2010, p.1).
The third issue: STEAM
To understand STEAM, you need to go back to the STEM!
Understand what the STEM approach to interdisciplinary teaching, learning and research is, then integrate the arts and design to create new solutions through applied critical and creative thinking as artist/designer/maker/creator.
STEM + Art = STEAM "STEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals.
The objectives of the STEAM movement are to:
#steam is about #transformation through #creativity #divergentthinking #metacognition #relationalknowing #criticalknowing #ethics #empathy
#STEAM provides creative opportunities in different learning areas to collaborate in developing a #transdisciplinary #integrated curriculum
The third issue: Problem vs. Project based learning - There is a MASSIVE difference between #problembasedlearning & #projectbasedlearning #steam #stem & #creativitydoesntjusthappenmagically *This tweet I have to come back to.