Integration - individuals who collaborate
Collaborative-learning is naturally ingrained in STEAM (Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde, 2005). STEAM allows each team-member to interact and provide the group with a different ability. The open nature of STEAM makes it possible to progress and improve for all children, from high-achievers to disabled students, each having their sets of goals in order to make the group succeed (Kirch, et al., 2007).
Working in STEAM-CT means facing challenges that need teamwork. Students are working with each other, considering problems and questions, sharing thoughts with their peers in small or whole groups and creating original solutions, compositions and answers to the problems and questions. (Riley, 2019)
Collaborative work stimulates problem-solving skills and the ability to transfer knowledge and skills in new, real-world situations. It enables students to learn to argument when complex, real-world problems are discussed in small group. (Prince, 2014) By sharing and discussing ideas, opinions, results, experiences, … students can become more aware of their own thinking and handling.
Cooperation between individuals demands a learning environment, wherein students experience a positive mutual dependency that leads to a shared responsibility towards STEAM-CT challenges and the learning process in general.
It is also important to notice that collaborative-work does not mean that groups should always work together (Opdenakker, Maulana, den Brok, 2012). Saving time for the children to work on their own or assigning different roles allows also the children to interiorize, memorize or learn by repetition, which is an inherent part of their individual learning process.