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This book examines the push and pull of factors contributing to and constraining conversion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, math and arts) education programs. A large driving force for STEM-to-STEAM conversions is the emerging awareness that the scientific workforce finds itself less than ideally prepared when engaging in the complex suite of emerging, multifaceted issues, or so-called ‘wicked problems’, such as global climate change, waste and social injustice, and pandemic diseases. Dealing effectively with wicked problems requires cross-disciplinary expertise and the ability to insert technical and scientific understanding effectively into areas of public planning and policy. Simply put, our traditional STEM education systems historically have produced excellent chemists, physiologists, biologists, geologists, physicists and the like, but specific subject-matter expertise alone is no longer sufficient. To solve wicked problems, we need a much more broadly trained, highly skilled scientific workforce capable of comfortably engaging in team-based, highly cross-disciplinary investigations operating within a transparent and socially-responsible, dynamic matrix of rapid change. The chapters in this book offer thought-provoking examples, theory, and suggestions about the advantages, methods and challenges involved in making STEM to STEAM conversions, at levels ranging from K12 through graduate university programs.
The different models and possibilities for STEAM, as the next phase of the STEM revolution, laid out in this book will promote research and further our understanding of STEAM as a forward-thinking approach to education.
Gillian Roehrig, STEM Education, University of Minnesota, USA
The ideal teacher sees opportunities for integrating ideas from multiple disciplines into every lesson. This book offers many worthwhile suggestions on how to do that deliberately and systematically
George DeBoer, Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA
For the last several years, calls for expanding STEM education have grown, but so too have concerns about technocratic approaches to STEM. This volume challenges the community to consider broader views on STEM by focusing on the place of arts education within this movement. The chapters offer much needed, new perspectives on the (re)integration of the arts and sciences
Troy Sadler, School of Education, University of North Carolina, USA