Ever wondered about the benefits of STEAM education? There are plenty of articles online asking, “What are the benefits of STEAM education?” after which they go into convoluted explanations that are mostly meaningless outside a teaching theory class. This article tries to keep it simple. Here are the benefits of STEAM education.
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What are the benefits of STEAM education?
Before tackling the question “What are the benefits of STEAM education,” let’s quickly ask, what is STEAM education, and why is it important? It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. It was born from an effort to calm the massive swell of liberal teaching in western education. Children are coming out of school knowing what “Hetero-normal” means, but have to rely on their phones to pay for their bus fares because they can’t figure out their change.
It is a way of getting away from education about how racism against fat-shamed dogs is worse than Hitler and focuses more on problem-solving in the real world using time-tested theories in the hard sciences.
More importantly, it doesn’t just focus on the hard sciences but shows how they may be applied through art, engineering, and technology. It leads to people leaving college and being employable right away.
Catching up to Eastern Countries
For kids in China, Japan, the Emirates, and India, their lessons on gender span for about a week, not for a full four-year set. The rest of their time, they are working on the hard sciences so that they can leave education with the best possible start. To catch up to eastern countries, western education needs to concentrate on hard sciences and then show students how to apply them to their lives and their future jobs. Helping western students catch up to eastern students is one of the biggest benefits of STEAM education.
Adaptive and Creative Thinking
Make no mistake, the benefits of STEM and STEAM education are pretty robust, but STEM became STEAM because we need art. For too long, art has been seen as a side activity, as a dash of painting and funny drawings. Yet, art is integral to adaptive and creative thinking. Modern students are world-class programmers and artists, and you would be surprised how often the two subjects intersect.
Problem-Solving With a Solid Foundation
One of the benefits of STEAM education is that students learn the hard sciences which set them up with a strong knowledge foundation. They then apply what they learn to engineer, art and technology. With this toolset, they become far more capable of forward-thinking problem-solving. It is like asking somebody to fix your car, and the person with a regular education has a rock, and the person with a STEAM education has a box of tools.
Are There Any Other Benefits of STEAM Education?
What are the benefits of STEAM education in general? There are a few potential benefits that seem to vary depending on the students (and probably on the teachers too). Here are some of the most commonly cited benefits of STEAM education.
- Better Critical Thinking
- Improved problem-solving
- Encourages thought exploration
- Teaches self-reliance
- Shows students different ways of thinking
- Improves student confidence
Nobody ever said that a liberal arts education was a bad thing. The bad thing is that it now dominates all varieties of education and things like the hard sciences are being left behind. STEAM puts the hard sciences and their application right back into the spotlight. It shines a hard focus on them, and students benefit from it. Where some students may struggle in some areas, they excel in others.
Even students who typically struggle with modern learning methods will still find value in STEAM education (Wiki) because it doesn’t rely on rote memorization or long discussions in class. Even students who typically perform poorly in school are able to benefit from this type of education, and that is a good thing.