STEAM Part 1: Gathering. Growing. Going.We are on the forefront of major educational change. I have been asked to share my thoughts on STEAM education several times over this year. It is hard to explain, and it is difficult to comprehend how all the pieces will fit together.
We as teachers, community members, and students now agree that the traditional model of “sit-and-get,” or the teacher being the “sage-on-the-stage” is not the best way to get results for all students. We also gathered with local, national, and international businesses that have stated that students are not ready for the work force. They have an inability to work in teams or to use information to solve problems. So gathering together as schools, businesses, students, and communities has given us a better picture of what we need to do as school leaders.
We have all heard the phrase “growing pains.” As we grow in our skills, we must stretch ourselves, test curriculum, think outside of the box, challenge tradition, and embrace a culture of change. This is not easy. It takes the very best teachers who are masters of their craft, flexible families who will work with us and understand that things are changing, and a business community that will fully engage with us in the learning process.
We as school leaders must continue to challenge traditional strategies that no longer get positive results. We as a community must read, research, and be knowledgeable about this shift in our academic process. We must look beyond the standardized test so that we can show students how to think for themselves, how to create for themselves, how to present the results of their learning, and to seek solutions for real-world problems, because we are building our future as well as theirs.
Going is where we seem to fail the most. This is the step that sets us free to learn. This is where the words become actions, where the work is implemented, and where we truly begin to change the face of how we educate our children. Going means you cannot wait until it’s perfect. Going means you may not be completely financially ready. Going means being engaged — not because you’re watching to see change fail but watching and being engaged to make sure that change is successful. Going means bonding together as a community of learners that thinks beyond the next test, beyond the report card, to a place where we see our children become leaders of change in a world where seeking solutions and working in teams to solve the world’s biggest problems will be their greatest achievement.
Changing lives together!
Author: Dr. Hooker