There is a famous saying - ‘Balance is the Key to everything.’
The same applies to curriculum as well and when we say that we are actually talking about updating our sole focus from curriculum that’s purely into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This update is essential and of vital importance as the purpose of 21’st century education is mastery of information, embedded knowledge, understanding and use of technology in society.
The goal is also to help students not just learn but engage them totally into authentic learning for personal development. The idea is to help all the students resolve all types of complex problems in real life. STREAM curriculum has been found to helps the education sector provide complex learning environments for the students. Also, with it let’s take a look at the core principles of STREAM which reflects the key areas as to why an update on STEM learning is indeed required.
The first important principle of this kind of learning is that it introduces hands-on Science and literacy integration that was essentially a missing block if one focused only on science based learning.
For this kind of integration, the science model (STEM) instruction must be combined with hands-on inquiry lessons, thoughtfully sequenced and supported with an instructional scaffolding approach of writing, discussions, data organizations and vocabulary.
The second and most important principle of this update and which is important to understand is that it is going to enrichment and not remediation. By this it is implied that, students can find challenging and engaging environment and this provides them the opportunities for students investigation through scientific inquiry, building reading, writing and math skills in a scientific context.
Further, it has been found that STREAM is rather a very flexible model for transforming higher science education into blended and online learning. To know more on it, click here. Another highly significant point to be noted is that, students of the 21’st century needs to be well versed with all the subjects in order to think critically and analyze it rationally. Such can only take place when the students can read voraciously, comprehend them and write it down. This process is important as they need to be ready for unknown jobs of tomorrow.
Well, when it comes to reading and writing, many may argue why we need to emphasize it in the learning model as it is; both of them are an expected outcome without any special need to bring it to the attention. But, this is where the fallacy lies in our thinking process. In fact, if one has to respond to the needs that ensure every child is equipped for college and careers, they have to work together to promote literacy skills. And in order to be literate in today’s world, students ought to have a strong grip on content knowledge and over vocabulary so that they are able to critically interpret and analyze multiple texts.
Creating phonological awareness and fluency is an essential parameter of today’s pedagogical process. Educators must research on ways by which they can assist students to focus on comprehensions, developing writing skills and acquiring disciplinary literacy. And as has been already pointed out earlier, that in order to initiate scientific or artistic inquiry in an individual, access to wide range of texts is instrumental to promoting students interest and engagement in any topic.
Hence, updating STEM to STEAM and further to STREAM is indeed a beneficial step towards catering to the holistic education of a child in the new era. Hence, let’s not ignore the potential of reading a writing in promoting literacy skills in students as we had discussed so far that STEM learning would remain incomplete without the two aspects.
Let us know your views on the points of justification we have mentioned in this blog.