My Quest To Teach

October 5, 2016

Why Parents Should Encourage STEAM In Education


Why Parents Should Encourage STEAM In Education

By William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College – @wmjackson

 

 

There is an interesting dynamic
that has grown over
several years related to academic
assessments.
School districts across the nation
have adopted a growing policy for
testing (assessments). There are
local district assessments, state
assessments and
national assessments. There are still questions what
does all the testing mean and who is using the data?

There seems to be an overwhelming focus on accessing
or testing students from Pre-K to High School. The
reality is that students once they enter into formative
education will be tested in some form or fashion
throughout their academic years. Testing to see if
they understand, comprehend, grasp, accept,
conceptualize and other verbs that relate to the
“light bulb” effect of knowledge illumination and
grasping of important concepts to advance to the next grade.

Assessments are just one part of the equation,
students must be able to apply what they are
learning to real world application. These applications
are sometimes not evident in the classrooms of
this nation so parents, being the first teachers
must allow their children to experience opportunities
to apply their learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents find the events or
activities that kids can
join to apply those skills
they will learn in the
classroom. Whether it is
Boy Scouts or Girl Scout,
Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girls Inc.,
the national or local groups based in cities like
Jacksonville, Florida;
Journey Into Womanhood a successful mentoring
and training program. These are opportunities for
parents to get their children engaged in learning
the people skills they need to apply to future career building.

The involvement shows that skills related to
STEM, and STEAM are not limited to just science
and those areas that kids expect, but the social
skills that allow students to communicate and
share information.

 

 

 

STEM – Science Technology
Engineering Mathematics are knowledge
areas that help prepare students for
careers, building to the
opportunity to start a career. Students must
know the language and be able to speak
it when striving for a career.

Science and Technology changes just about
every 6 to 9 months so students must adapt
their vocabulary to match the vernacular of
their area of interest. Engineering terminology
is consistent with the process of solving
problems that many kids enjoy doing.
Engineers solve problems; Mathematics can be
learned from K to graduating high school, but
still must be applied so no one cheats you out
of your money when you buy candy at the
store or even a fast food restaurant. When
purchasing a home, vehicle or even
understanding budgeting for life, mathematics
is important, schools must teach it to apply to real life.

Education allows for the accumulation of
information, facts, access to data, students
still need to learn how to apply these to real
life experiences. Parents must understand
that value of “exposure,” the purpose of
application and implementation is valuable.
So in the 21st century, STEAMing your kids
is necessary.
“The careers now and in the future require a
foundation of education and transference of
information from memory to momentum of
execution.”
Wm Jackson, Edward Waters College

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engagement in STEM and
STEAM, are
ways to grasp the concepts
necessary to build knowledge
to be successful in a dynamically
changing world. Parents take
your children to museums, library events,
cultural activities, family field trips to
where you are doing stuff to be engaged.
What is the issue with having children
learn about what the world has to offer
and provide in a productive and positive way?

Parents allow your children to build, design,
create, be innovative and explorers. Their
future depends on what type of foundation
they have now. Students learn by doing
not by listening, so engagement is vitally
important and necessary. Student lead
instruction, guided learning, project based
learning and the list goes on when children
need to be engaged and active. Hands-on
learning that is student centered is not
a trend, it is a reality and much needed.

Too many teachers are still teaching in the
past mode of factory workers style and lecture
instructional model. Students are not factory
workers, they are not all the same so instruction
should be diverse in its approach to meet
the educational needs of the diversity of
the classroom. The explosion of video games,
interactive toys, digital platforms and tools
is needed to guide learning that challenges
students to be creative and innovative. Teachers
need to incorporate collaborative learning with
content rich resources.

Adapting to a STEM / STEAM project based
instruction addresses the issues to engagement
and active learning. A game of questions for
STEM? Encourage students to ask each other
in an intelligent way questions to encourage
discussion:

What did you see happen? – What did you
try and why? What things did you notice
when it happened? What is another way to
do it? – What has changed now?
What were your expectations and were they
met? – What did you learn? – Where can you
apply what you learned? – Can you teach others?

 

 

 

 

Teachers must be members
of Professional Learning
Communities
(PLC’s) to share and gain
resources from other
professional educators.
Children are naturally curious, so why not
enhance, support and encourage a natural
ability to question. Just guide the questioning
to everyday life and teach children to be
“smart creatives,” and “thought leaders.”
Allow students to be innovators and explorers,
show students especially students of color
and culture they are capable. STEM and
STEAM are the new ways to accomplish
this and should be used to lead future
generations to learn how to solve problems
before we realize they are problems.

The need for STEM workers can be seen
as technology is integrated increasingly in
society. Drones, driverless cars, medical
research, global warming, increased space
exploration and even inner space in our
oceans requires knowledge workers that
are visionaries, smart creatives and innovators.

STEM – STEAM – STREAM – CSTEAM – STEM2

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