The Wonders of STEM and STEAM Education: What, Why, and How?

July 5-6, 2022

Rationale and aims

Education systems around the globe recognize the need to prepare today’s learners for tomorrow’s world. In line with this need, importance is ascribed to the integrated approach to teaching and learning, and in particular, significant integration among the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) disciplines. The benefits attributed to integrative teaching and learning of STEM or STEAM disciplines concern the development of students’ creativity, curiosity, mental flexibility, entrepreneurial spirit, self-regulated learning skills, problem solving abilities, and collaboration and cooperation competencies.

Nonetheless, currently, there are various streams and a wide range of definitions related to STEM and STEAM education. The variety of definitions, perceptions, and conceptualizations leads to a lack of agreed-upon objectives and theories about the appropriate pedagogies for implementing integration among the STEM/STEAM disciplines. In all levels of education, four main terms of disciplinary integration are used alternately – transdisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, multi-disciplinarity, and cross-disciplinarity – often as synonyms, when the distinction between them is unclear.  

This lack of agreement raises a wide range of fundamental questions, including:

  • What are the long-term goals of STEM/STEAM education? What are the proper educational approaches? What are the indicators for achieving the goals and how can they be measured and assessed?
  • What is the unique added value of adding the A to the STEM education framework, in terms of learning opportunities and learners’ personal, emotional and social development?
  • Should we strive to identify optimal amalgamation of content knowledge, skills, approaches, and thinking patterns from the entire STEM/STEAM disciplines? And if so – what methods should be adopted to achieve this?
  • Should STEM/STEAM be considered an independent discipline? Why? And if so – how can it be realized? Or perhaps creating a new discipline is merely a theoretical idea that is not implementable?
  • How should we communicate the knowledge, skills, approaches, and thinking patterns related to STEM/STEAM education? How should we prepare teachers to apply the ideas inherent in STEM/STEAM learning and teaching in their classrooms? Who should educate the teachers? Who might serve as a role model?

The international conference The Wonders of STEM and STEAM Education is intended to bring together people from around the world to discuss these and other related issues, and to share knowledge from diverse perspectives: practical, theoretical, and research-based.

For further information

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