STEAM– An Empowered Approach towards Learning
- 31 December 2021
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education has always been my area of interest as I feel it empowers the learning community and I wish I was taught using such approaches. Being a science graduate my natural inclination towards this area is further justifiable and being the MIT STEAM Lead at school is has allowed me to witness how powerful STEAM learning can be.
Over the years, I have acquired knowledge about how STEAM supports inquiry and conceptual understanding among learners. I would like to elaborate on three things that happen more often during STEAM lessons.
Oakridge strongly believes in student autonomy for better achievement of learning outcomes. Students need to take responsibility and ownership in directing their learning.
When students feel that their voice is heard and they have a choice to opt to learn about their favorite topics, learning becomes engaging, authentic, relevant, and challenging (Ejiwale, 2012). I have seen many STEAM sessions come to life when students plan, organize, direct and lead their learning process.
Collaboration is another important component in STEAM learning as it enables learners to understand new perspectives. Students realize the power of more brains working together and they come up with innovative and groundbreaking ideas. Moreover, collaboration within the classroom improves social dialogues among peers that go beyond the curriculum. At Oakridge, during STEAM lessons, students develop open-mindedness and willingness to accept and appreciate other’s ideas and out of the box thinking. This might even trigger intrinsic motivation to learn and achieve better results in many young learners.
STEAM is a field that encourages learners to use their sensory perceptions to further their learning. At Oakridge, we adopt the ‘Mens et Manus’ approach from MIT for our STEAM learning which translates into ‘Mind and hand’. Learners need to understand concepts from various fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and apply their understanding through a hands-on approach in the STEM innovation lessons through Project-based learning (PBL) or Design Thinking Processes (DTP). It is great to see how trans-disciplinarity is seamlessly playing a vital role in STEAM lessons where learners integrate their learning from various disciplines to apply in a real-world scenario and solve the issues.
On the whole, STEM learning at Oakridge encourages learners to understand self-efficacy and create a self-regulated environment that is conducive to learning.
Oakridge International School, Mohali
Ejiwale, J. A. (2012). Facilitating teaching and learning across STEM fields. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 13(3).