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STEAM-An Innovative Style of Learning & Teaching

Updated on April 12, 2018
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Reena is a creative and technical copy writer. I love spinning new and creative things into the pieces of my writing.

STEAM Triggers Critical Thinking

STEAM Triggers Critical Thinking
STEAM Triggers Critical Thinking

Did you yawn when your English or mathematics teacher taught?

It is ok, friends. I also used to have the similar habit in my school. Even, I did take a nap in my Mathematics lecture. It is a common tendency. I mean, if you don’t find anything interesting, you simply ignore & pass by it. However, the students are not permitted to do so. Therefore, they cover up their face with a book to pretend that they are listening to the lesson. But actually, they sleep.

Have you ever tried to find out its root cause?

Why do they become a sleepyhead in the classroom?

If you ask them in particular, they would open their heart. And, you will be shocked after hearing their reasons. Once I got an opportunity to ask the students of sixth standard. Most of them said that so-and-so teacher has no sense of teaching. A few said that his/her class has no fun; we feel drowsy in his/her lecture. There were one or two students also who just smiled playfully to answer my question.

In all, I concluded that the boredom is its bone of contention. It is the abstraction that needs to be kicked out of the learners’ lives.

This is why I’m writing this article on STEAM-An Innovative Style of Learning and Teaching. I wish that it would be helpful for the learners as well as the teachers.

What is STEAM?

Have you heard of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest? Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) is its organizer. This iconic brand is one of the biggest promoters of the STEAM concept. Since 2010, it has been encouraging the student’s community to address the real world issues with it. It wants a change in the local communities. Therefore, it holds this contest every year. Three schools, namely Ashland Middle School, Ky., Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, N.J and Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Winston-Salem, N.C received $150,000 in the form of laptop, tablets, LED TVs to use in the classroom.

Isn’t it a great motivator, it is.

Let’s focus on the STEAM now.

What is it? Why am I mentioning it with bold letters? Why does Samsung promote it? What’s in it?

Let me expand this acronym first. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The old teaching practices are typical. They need a makeover. That offbeat learning structure doesn’t walk hand in hand with the internet, mobile phones and machine learning. These technologies have a power to respond quickly and connect seamlessly. If you get an instant answer from Google, why would you pick up a book to find the same information? You won’t like to do so.

However, it’s a boon that technology is so advanced. But simultaneously, it is gradually converting a human into good-for-nothing. With an ongoing trend, the next generation will be no more than an idle bone. It would give a complete rest to its critical thoughts.

Is this approach good? Aren’t we going to be a slave of machines?

With this kind of approach, we would be their servant.

The concept of STEAM is contrary to that machine ruling. How?

Let’s take an example. A three-year old kid came with a burning question. Mom, “why does that paper fly, but I don’t?”

Would you define as a typical teacher does?

Or, do you suggest him to take assistance from the Google?

It won’t help your kid to think critically. Neither can it work well if you feed this topic like a lecture.

How is it if you attract him towards the gravitational pull & the weight of various matters? Ask him to throw a stone and a feather down from the roof together. Let him feel their weight first and then, do so.

Although he would have a lot more to ask in the interim, you can wisely explain while demonstrating through an experiment. This demo would become a memory for the lifetime.

This is what the STEAM concept is all about. It’s a step by step procedure that begins with knowing perceptions. When he becomes an enabler, the actual meaning of this concept gets fulfilled.

STEAM Learning Process

  1. Awareness comes with the burning questions

    Does your kid ask spontaneously?

    It’s a big question. Asking a question reveals a curious mind. If your child thinks, the questions would definitely toy in his mind.

    Now, the concern is whether or not he/she curiosity takes rise in him/her. If no, you can create it via your way. This stage can help you, as being a teacher, know it.

    The whole surrounding would be your laboratory for the experiment. For example-“Kid, do you know I can put out this candle without blowing?

    If your child comes with a question, you would succeed in your mission. Congrats! He/she has started noticing. You need to keep it up. Try to incite questions. You can start with a heated discussion or crack a joke. The awareness requires ‘live demos’. If so happens, an intention to explore more would take rise in his heart. It will encourage a tendency to think.

    But, don’t be so bookish while explaining. Drill it in your head!

    2. Let him/her Discover:

    Dad (while pointing at the sky): “Son, could you tell me what are those glittering things in the sky? “

    Son: “Yeah, Dad! Those are stars.”

    This small piece of conversation has a gist of this point. The father wants to make his son aware about the stars. So, the son’s critical mind discovered a new thing, i.e. Stars. This is what I mean to DISCOVER.

    Let your child discover himself/herself. Contrarily, if you try to thrust anything or spoon-feed, he/she would not discover. So, let him/her discover instinctively.

    3. Let him/her build a thought:

    You’re done with creating awareness. Also, your child has started pitching the related things.

    Just take a notice if he/she builds more thoughts or not.Let’s carry on the aforementioned conversation.

    Dad (while pointing at the sky): “Son, could you tell me what are those glittering things in the sky? “

    Son: “Yeah, sure! Those are stars.” Dad, do stars and planet differ?

    Go through the child’s dialog in the conversation. His active mind generates thoughts. If you want to see through a critical lens, you would find a curious mind wherein the thoughts rise up. To make your child an enabler, let him inquire. His thought-process would nurture.

    4. Experiment:

    This is an important part of critical thinking development. The keen mind of a child tends to try everything. Have you noticed the action of a two year old boy? Whatever you do, he tries to imitate that action. Sometimes, he snatches the knife from mother’s hand to see what that is.

    Likewise, you should push him to experiment with self. Possibly, he may surrender to take a risk of experimenting something new. Boost his morale up.

    Let’s say, you’ve explained what an abacus is and how to count on it. Now, invite him to compete with you or his friend. You can say, “Let’s play with abacus and see who would add correctly.” To have more of fun, you can keep this game time bound. Also, announce for the reward to the winner.

    5. Record: Last but not the least, recording what is experimented is a must. Encourage him to make notes of what he observed, experimented and concluded. Exchange a few words in an argumentative manner. But, keep it healthy and friendly. While doing so, he would quickly recap of what he experimented. His mind would dive into the same topic from start to finish. Thereafter, it would become a memory for the lifelong.

Final Thought

Education has a direct connection with the critical thinking. But, the conservative methods of learning and teaching hamper its way. They feed the findings which are already found. Innovative practices in teaching and learning methods for quality education can promote a thought process. Thought provoking ideas can create think tanks. The concept STEAM has that potential that can push the critical corner of the mind to build up the extremely new and creative approach.

© 2018 marinay

Comments

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    • profile image

      Shipsy Paulose 

      6 months ago

      Well written Reenaji..I really loved your article since the starting. Keep going

    • profile image

      Sushil 

      6 months ago

      Awesome ...........

      It is very beneficial article for teachers and parents to teach their childs in real world. Specialy I like the use of words.

    • profile image

      Parveen Naagar 

      6 months ago

      good job

    • profile image

      Rohit 

      6 months ago

      Nice

    • profile image

      Venkatesh 

      6 months ago

      Great job .... ... ..

    • profile image

      KUMUD 

      6 months ago

      Cool

    • profile image

      Don 

      6 months ago

      Very good dr

    • profile image

      chetan 

      6 months ago

      Nice

    • profile image

      javed 

      6 months ago

      Well done

    • profile image

      Saddam chaudhary 

      6 months ago

      Great work dear

    • profile image

      Lover 

      6 months ago

      Great job

    • profile image

      Akshay 

      6 months ago

      Great job

      Fantastic presentation

    • profile image

      Sanauwar 

      6 months ago

      Thanks for the beautiful blog,

      Your blog will always be honored!

      Keep it up

    • profile image

      Aakash 

      6 months ago

      excellent job dear

    • profile image

      Improvising the pattern of learning 

      6 months ago

      Great work. Ease at learning. Great contribution.

    • profile image

      Irfan 

      6 months ago

      Very nice

    • profile image

      Lover 

      6 months ago

      Nice

    • profile image

      Ankit lakra 

      6 months ago

      Hey rina... it's a great concept.it should be implemented in our education system.good job

    • profile image

      Dr Anjana Bansal 

      6 months ago

      Wavvvvvvv it's great dear......

    • profile image

      Verseav 

      6 months ago

      Thank you for writing such a great and useful article...

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