The global standard of education is always looking for updated, effective, and productive methodologies for teaching students that enhance their active participation in the learning process. Teachers are constantly implementing learner-centric teaching techniques and activities to engage students in the classroom session as much as possible.
International schools are encouraging teachers to practice STEM education because STEM learning is a proven method of engaging students to a great extent. Teachers with an International teaching diploma certification, have the skills of imparting STEM education to learners. Though STEM is not a newly-innovated teaching approach but its existence has gotten more value now due to its excellent effectiveness in learners-based learning models.
Importance of STEM, STEAM, and STREAM:
However, STEM is not the only methodology that schools are implying upon students. STEAM and STREAM are the two other equally significant teaching methodologies that provide real-world learning scenarios to students. These techniques increase:
- Problem-solving skills,
- Analytical skills
- Decision-making skills
- Socio-emotional skills
- Cognitive skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Language skills
- Communication skills
Apart from these, students are also learning other academic skill-sets that are enhancing their growth to the next level.
STEM vs STEAM education:
Many children get a positive impact from STEM education but often teachers get confused that which is a better career option- STEM or STEAM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
STEM education is extremely practical and is mostly based on project methods where students have hands-on experience of whatever they’re learning. Basic computer programming and bridge building are the major projects that students go through. It is a constructive method and focuses on interdisciplinary learning instead of teaching each subject independently.
Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration are the 4Cs that encircle STEM education.
Apart from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths, another letter is added to the abbreviation called A in STEAM and it stands for Arts. Humanities department like language arts, humanities, dance, music, drama, visual arts, new media, design, and more are being focused in STEAM education.
A STEAM curriculum apart from emphasizing the project-based learning methods also aims at incorporating soft skills in students. The main reason is that the people’s management is one of the biggest criteria that hiring managers are looking for in candidates. Needless to say, it is one of the prime soft skills that a candidate should have. 57% of senior leaders at various companies give soft skills an edge over hard skills.
Students who are receiving STEAM education are preaching creativity and innovations in various ways and these are considered 21st-century skills that candidates must have. Because of all these cumulative reasons, STEAM is gaining huge popularity globally. It includes professions like sound engineer, architect, graphic designer, product designer, conservator, archaeologist, and urban planner.
Wait, there is something else as well. It is called STREAM.
STREAM curriculum is a holistic approach where unique learning strategies are implemented to make students all-rounders. STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The main agenda of this learning approach is to clear the concept of learning for students from the foundation level.
STREAM is more approachable than STEM. Any STEM student can be exposed to STREAM by including subjects like art, design, and reading into the curriculum. Reading is important because unless a student is able to read out stuff, learning a sentence by heart becomes quite difficult. However, every coin has two sides and so do all these three approaches to learning.
Challenges faced by STEM, STEAM, and STREAM educational approaches.
- The lack of resources for STEM education is one of the fundamental problems because the latest technology is definitely not budget-friendly. Also, training the current teachers on how to implement STEM education, and learning how to use the new technology effectively as a learning tool is quite time-consuming. Teachers are struggling quite a lot over here.
- STEAM is not free of challenges as well. It includes pacing/time, student understanding of content and process, issues relating to planning, and concerns about school district policies. Besides, technology integration and issues related to assessment are two major factors where STEAM education is lagging behind.
- The same is the problem with STREAM education. Getting updated technology for conducting upgraded robotics classes are not hassle-free.
Nonetheless, teachers are trying their level best to incorporate these excellent formats of education in the classroom. An international teaching diploma has helped every teacher to understand all of those teaching methodologies and has brightened their teaching career as well.
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Written By : Soma Pillai