STEAM & How it Can Enhance Student Experience in the Classroom
The conversation in education has changed dramatically over the years, from teacher-directed to student-centered lessons and from segregated subjects to content area integration. However, there is still some push-back from educators who are unsure about and uncomfortable with bringing in multiple content areas and skills into their lessons. Fortunately, in recent years STEM education has taken hold in many schools across the country, bringing together many skills and subjects with interactive, exploratory lessons. But, while STEM programs are excellent starting points for engaging and multifaceted education, they still miss out on a few critical processes.
Now there is a new movement for STEAM education, which includes those critical areas, and at The Teachers Academy, we want to help teachers get ahead of the educational curve and take learning to another level with our STEAM Course.
The Difference Between STEM & STEAM
In the early 2000s, there was a call for more educational opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). By 2009, President Barack Obama and the Educate to Innovate Initiative boosted STEM in U.S. schools to get American students at the forefront of STEM careers. While this educational initiative is ongoing, and more of our country’s students are moving into STEM occupations, this process is missing a key element: creativity!
Our economy requires more than proficiency in STEM for success in most industries; it needs real-world applications, creation, and ingenuity — skills and opportunities that cannot come from a textbook. Fortunately, with STEAM education, the integration of Art takes care of those missing pieces! STEAM is an educational approach that does not treat art as an add-on, but as an integral aspect of the learning process that guides student dialogue, critical thinking, and inquiry.
With the technical learning experiences of STEM and the increased creativity and flexibility of the art element, STEAM education is revolutionizing the learning process and developing independently-thinking students with limitless potential.
Six Steps to a Successful STEAM Lesson
Incorporating even some of the elements above can enhance a project or activity. However, no teacher should begin teaching STEAM without training. There are so many components to effective STEAM practice and various applications in other content areas, including ELA and Special Education, so teachers need to explore those elements and learn the ropes before implementing STEAM into their schools and classrooms.
As a leader in online professional development for teachers, The Teachers Academy has many courses available, most of which provide Act 48 credits for PA teachers. If you are looking for a way to boost your credits and your knowledge of STEAM principles and applications, consider enrolling our STEAM Course for 15 hours of professional development and a gateway to more fulfilling and engaging educational opportunities for you and your students!