In the current era of the technology revolution, inventions have become a part of human existence daily. Now and again, we hear about developments in many industries. We seldom hear about educational and improvements, particularly in the early years of learning.
This is progressively causing a decline in learning ability since traditional schooling is based on memorization and does not focus on instilling a positive mentality. STEAM education was developed as a result of educational experts recognizing a gap in learning.
STEAM learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics to encourage students’ curiosity, interaction, and problem-solving. According to experts, STEAM learning is not only about learning practical skills. It also assists kids in developing the ability to:
Take calculated risks
Participate in relevant learning activities
Develop into resilient problem solvers
Accept and value cooperation
While the economic growth and employment market have continued to grow at a rapid pace over the last several decades, our educational system has not. Students, for the most part, continue to learn the same subjects in the same classroom setting.
The goal of STEAM-based learning is to help children in pre-school develop the skills necessary for future success. Regardless of individual job or industry, students must now enter college and/or the workforce with a set of well-rounded skills that enable them to adapt to a changing and fast-paced environment.
STEAM pulls together important disciplines to promote a positive environment that fosters all learners to respond, contribute, and problem solve. This comprehensive approach enables learners to demonstrate both the left and right sides of their brains at the same time, much as they would in a current working setting.
In contrast to traditional teaching paradigms, the STEAM framework blurs the barriers between disciplines to stimulate better levels of creativity and efficacy when it comes to problem-solving. Giving a prospective engineer, for example, the ability to conceive and sketch down his ideas will make him more productive in his career in the long run.
What distinguishes STEAM learning from traditional learning?
STEAM is more than simply an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics; it is a teaching technique that incorporates all of these areas.
It addresses concerns that various disciplines or courses are frequently taught separately, despite the reality that they are all interconnected. It is a unified inter-disciplinary approach based on hands-on experience.
It is impossible to separate these sectors in today's globe. Choose any object from your home or workplace and try to fit it into one of the STEAM topics. It will be hard for you to do so since everything is interconnected.
Science and math contribute to the development of technology, which is then combined with engineering to make it usable in our daily lives.
Instead of depending on what the textbook says, STEAM encourages children to try, make errors, and learn from their own experiences to get the best results.
STEAM education is built on critical thinking, logical analysis, inquiry, and project-based learning. It stimulates children's interest, making learning more enjoyable, meaningful, and long-lasting.
This is a paradigm change from traditional education, which is severely lacking in hands-on learning, to far better and deeper learning.
When should children begin STEAM learning?
STEAM-based learning for children may and should begin as early as two years old when they get into pre-schools. In the early years, a child's brain is like a sponge absorbing knowledge. The children's learning speed in the first five years is exceptional and will never be repeated in life.
The right introduction of subjects in the early years aids in the development of a favorable attitude toward education in children. Hands-on STEAM learning helps to wire a child's brain for improved problem solving and critical thinking, which leads to abstract thinking and growth in mindset.
According to research, when young children attend pre-school, they already have a good understanding of their surroundings and can think creatively.
What are the obstacles to early STEAM learning in schools?
In India, most schools begin STEAM-based instruction in elementary school or later. And most of it is related to robotics and coding. Teachers at this level are better qualified and trained to comprehend and support this type of instruction with older students.
However, education at the level of pre-schools in India has not progressed through time. One of the most significant issues is that teachers at this level are neither educated nor equipped to provide this type of instruction.
STEAM education is more of an inquiry-based approach in which children learn via STEAM activities and experiments. Kids are encouraged to ask several questions to fully grasp the subject, making the session more conversational.
Junior Delhi School' pilot project aims to recognize early childhood educators' challenges and assist them in becoming more comfortable supporting STEAM learning.
Teachers require tools or training to assist them to implement STEAM education and answer the queries of that age group's inquisitive minds.
Throughout the discourse, we examine the advantages, obstacles, and benefits of STEAM education, as well as how it is the greatest and most innovative thing for any kid to pursue. As a result, the time has come for every school in the country to implement STEAM education. Our children's generation is extremely fortunate to be born in the current twenty-first century and to have access to devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices from a young age. The use of these gadgets demonstrates that our future generation of children enjoys interacting with technology and spends endless hours doing so. If we teach our students from such a young age and incorporate STEAM education in India in schools as early as elementary school, we are creating future innovators who will not only make their parents proud but also their entire nation, by inventing things that will be useful in combating real-world problems.
As a result, it is the responsibility of parents and teachers in India to stimulate and promote knowledge about STEAM education so that more young brains can benefit from it.