Understanding STEAM for Title One Students
Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics
for Title One School environments.
“Students will need more than just good teachers and
smaller class sizes to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
For students to get the most out of school, we need to
promote a partnership between parents, community leaders,
and teachers. Only through partnerships can our schools
keep improving and stay on the right track.”
Susan Castillo, Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction
Daily Astorian, June 12, 2003
STEAM is the direction of many instructional curriculum’s
in school districts with large Title One populations. Title
One schools are recognizing the benefits of STEAM in
addressing the importance to teach to diverse learning
modalities or styles. Education is influenced by the changes
in technology that students will be using to master the
foundations of reading, literacy, speaking (articulation),
grammar and strengthening comprehension.
The elements of STEAM have been used for instruction
in the past as separate lessons; STEAM brings each
element together to create cross curricular lessons that
can embrace all or part of each element. Reading is the
foundation for each even mathematics.
Parents need to understand the importance of reading,
reading is the foundation for all learning that builds
a child’s ability to function in a world influenced by
literacy elements. Title One students must have a
foundation of reading starting in early education. Pre-K
programs are important to creating a step to climb that
allows students to move up in learning.
The goal of Title I is to provide extra instructional
services and activities which support students identified
as failing or most at risk of failing the state’s challenging
performance standards in mathematics, reading, and writing.
STEAM possesses all the elements that help build critical
and higher order thinking that should to be introduced
to Title One students.
Without reading there cannot be an understanding
of math. Progressive changes in education influence tools
Title One teachers use to educate students. In most of
my educational career I have taught in Title One
schools. Policies and procedures change, standards
are modified and benchmarks are adapted, but the
importance of reading never diminishes. The education
of students is representative of the direction of our nation.
The push for higher education and even still vocational
education with an emphasis in technology fields is
important. Looking at the careers now and in the future
technology skills are a must.
Understanding Title One is important:
What is Title One http://www2.ed.gov/
Schools with high numbers or high percentages of children
from low-income families. Schools help ensure that all
children meet challenging state academic standards.
Federal funds are allocated to provide resources, tutoring
and other educational opportunities that are based primarily
on census poverty estimates and the cost of education
in each state.
To understand STEAM, defining its meaning, STEAM is
inter-disciplinary and cross-curricular instructional model
to coordinate the integration of each area of learning to
bring about higher order thinking skills and critical thinking
in school age children from Pre-K to graduating seniors in
The foundation is hands on learning that is a building block
to teaching Title One students. Reaching and engaging
multiple learning modalities or learning styles of children.
Using project based activities that allow teachers to be
facilitators of learning. An important part to the success of
student learning even in the STEAM environment is the
involvement of parents. Parents are not expected to be
experts in the areas of Science Technology Engineering
Arts Mathematics, it is vital that they understand what the
mission and goals of instruction are. The perceptions of
Title One schools are students “At Risk,” lacking in
educational goals, do not possess parents that value
education and consistently have lower than average test
scores. The expectations must be high from parents; this
will transfer to teachers with high expectations for learning.
To diminish the lack of learning perception summer break
can be a benefit to parents because of the opportunity
for involvement and exposure to diverse and unique
Learning can take place even without children knowing they
are learning. Parents themselves can be creative and innovative.
There is minimal money involved and the money that is
spent should be viewed as an “investment” in children
not a “sacrifice” of monetary resources.
Communities provide rich resources for learning, in many
cases these resources are free; they involve cultural,
educational, technological, literacy, project based and
hands-on learning. National data has shown that 30% to
40% of learning is lost during summer break for American
students. If learning is not supported in the home a higher
percentage is lost especially for Title One students if they
are not enrolled in learning environments like Boys and
Girls Clubs, YMCA/YWCA and other groups such as TEAMUP
of Northeast Florida that I taught in during the summer.
Using a STEAMS model of instruction that focused on designing,
building, creating and innovation on a foundational scale,
students were exposed to creating projects that reinforced the
use of higher order thinking skills and critical thinking that is
being introduced in elementary learning environments.
The American educational system has a model built on past
agricultural and seasonal models of summer break. The
advancements in industrialization and digital technologies have
influenced school calendars, but the foundation of the agricultural
model is still being used.
The foreseeable future for Title One students is that learning will
have to be year around. With a model that is nine weeks of
instruction and two weeks break for a continuous learning model
that mimics careers that are year around. Title One students
need to be engaged in continuous learning to prepare for careers
not just jobs, careers that have growth potential and emphasis
the importance of life-long learning. Parents must
participate in professional development learning in Parent
Academies or Parent Universities that engage parents in
teaching them how to be academically focused and learning
agents to the betterment of their children. These ideas are not
new and are in existence on smaller scales. The educational focus
on STEAM will require families to be trained, educated and incorporate
learning in the home environment. If Title One students are to
overcome the economic challenges that their parents face education
is the tool to allow upward economic mobility.
My role as a STEAM teacher, teaching Engineering/Technology
in a Title One environment allows me to influence learning in a
productive and forward thinking environment that engages
students. Building on the creative abilities that are present in the
minds of students from Pre-K to fifth grade, providing chances to
explore, create, build and encourage innovation. STEAM
teachers must collaborate and cooperate in their instruction and
share with fellow classroom teachers. Each sharing and encouraging
parents to reinforce learning at home.
If parents resist, complain or just plain don’t reinforce learning at
home they are perpetuating the perceptions that ignorance is
welcomed in their homes and they are satisfied if their children
are not growing and have no future success educationally. The
only opportunities without reading proficiency and technology
skills are dead end jobs, continued low income jobs and continuing
generational poverty, lack of political and economic equality.
To hear the discussion on STEAM and learning over the summer
break listen in to Courageous Conversation About Education Ask A Teacher
Web Site: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=43006602
Listen to the conversation.
My Contributions: My Quest To Teach