Spring 2017 Impact

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Page 8 of 62

8 Introduction is Impact Journal, Full STEAM Ahead, is intended to provide the reader with a framework of what STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education can look like in a variety of settings from early childhood through college, as well as from a district's perspective and initiative. STEAM education is not constrained to one way of thinking, but rather has many flavors with opportunities to motivate students through the integration and interconnectivity of many domains. It is a philosophical approach that rejects the notion of decontextualized teaching of subjects (mathematics, writing, social studies) in isolation of one another. Contextualized learning to develop content knowledge in STEM that is connected to artistic expression, what is referred to as STEAM-based learning, frames the objectives for growth in necessary skills and critical thinking for the 21st century. e common threads of increased student motivation and the value of the iterative process come through the various perspectives of the authors. Identifying a problem, finding the solution, employing the solution perhaps by trial and error, learning from one's mistakes, and refining one's solution is an important skill that shows up in a variety of domains. In many ways, it is the essence of assessment; employ a tool to gain information, analyze the results and use the results to inform next steps. STEAM-based learning allows for this iterative process to be employed and oen produces engaged, and most importantly, passionate learners who recognize the value in what they're learning because it is self-directed and grounded in a meaningful context. When learners at all levels desire to know or master a skill that comes Karen N. Bell, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Dept. of Teaching and Learning Director, Center for Innovation in Education (CIE@NP) Email: bellk@newpaltz.edu Phone: 845-257-2804 Guest Editor

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