INTEGRATION - Disciplines

 

STEAM is an educational ‘holistic’ approach that incorporates the arts and humanities into the more-familiar STEM model, which includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In this project opportunities are explored where arts naturally fits in STEM. Arts is then treated as an applied subject, just like math, science, ... 

 

The reasons to put forward a STEAM approach are multiple. The main motive is that it provokes better problem-solving skills and increased creativity and innovation. Students are encouraged to apply a playful, inventive, human-centered, … problem solving approach with a rich arsenal of opportunities for communication and expression. (Conteh, 2006), (Boy, 2013) Moreover, the addition of arts often makes the other disciplines more relative and interesting to a broader audience of students and helps students see connections to the real‐world (Quigley, Herro, Jamil, 2017).

As there are different gradations of integration possible between the four STEM-disciplines, this is also the case with the incorporation of arts and humanities. An intentional connection between the different disciplines is needed, where each of the disciplines is taught with integrity and not in service of  the other content areas. So the purpose of STEAM is not so much to teach for example science or arts, but to apply content of different disciplines in real, engaging situations as applied knowledge leads to deeper learning. (Jolly, 2016) Thus, the content of different disciplines are being equitably discussed, explored and applied to explore a question in order to solve problems. The content of each subject has been selected purposefully and students are applying their skills as a way to enhance meaning and deeply explore the topic. (Riley, 2019)