Artistic Ways of Knowing: Thinking Like an Artist in the STEAM Classroom

  • Joanne Haroutounian
Part of the Environmental Discourses in Science Education book series (EDSE, volume 5)


Music Department, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA 22030.

The emerging interest in converting STEM educational programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) through arts integration offers the opportunity to recognize artistic ways of knowing as an effective way to add depth and breadth to academic content. Assuring substantive arts involvement in this integration, rather than peripheral presence, strengthens this cross-disciplinary approach. Artistic ways of knowing describe the cognitive/perceptive processes inherent while learning and working through the arts. The components of artistic ways of knowing include perceptual awareness and discrimination, metaperception (artistic parallel to metacognition), creative interpretation, the dynamic of performance/product, and critique. This artistic/creative learning process focuses on qualitative awareness and aesthetic sensitivity that enhances thinking beyond the norm when faced with multifaceted issues. In this chapter, I examine current STEAM programs and research and offer examples of how the arts are currently used within STEM programs. The chapter will include how the arts are being used effectively as a medium in solving STEM problems as well as being used innovatively to develop uniquely creative artistic skills and product/performances using STEM-discipline content. This qualitative approach in STEM/STEAM classrooms provides the opportunity to seek creative alternatives that encourage every student to learn to “think like an artist.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne Haroutounian
    • 1
  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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