The Potential of Arts-Integrated STEM Approaches to Promote Students’ Science Knowledge Construction and a Positive Perception of Science Learning
Declining interest among high school and university students in the study of science as a major subject has had educators and curriculum designers searching for a teaching approach that would raise interest and engender a positive perception of learning science. At the same time, government and industry leaders have expressed concern about the need for the science curriculum to produce qualified scientists and engineers capable of creative thinking and innovation. One solution proposed and implemented in some countries is STEAM, the integration of the arts (e.g., visual arts, literature, history) into the teaching of STEM. This chapter presents the theoretical framework, pedagogical approach, and some outcomes of a STEAM project conducted in seven primary and secondary schools in Sydney, Australia, and Seoul, Korea. The project was grounded in a social constructivist theory of learning and applied an inquiry-based pedagogical method, which informed the integration of arts- and culture-related content into science teaching/learning activities. STEAM lessons were designed to build an awareness and appreciation of the relevance and role of science concepts in social-cultural events familiar to students, such as the Vivid Sydney (an annual festival of light) known to every Sydney student and the Light Festival familiar to South Korean students. Some strategies of arts/culture integration and the resulting outcomes are described and illustrated with students’ work. The positive effects of the STEAM approach on teaching, learning, and students’ perception of science are reported. Notwithstanding the positive effects, there are challenges to be addressed in any plan to implement STEAM more widely than as a trial in selected schools. These challenges and concerns are discussed and possible solutions are proposed.
KeywordsSTEAM Students’ knowledge construction Students’ perceptions of science learning STEAM challenges
This work was supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia–Korea Foundation, AKF-2015 Grant 0098), by the Macquarie University New Staff Grant (GT-00058), and by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the South Korean Government (NRF-2016S1A3A2925401).
- Aulls, M. W., & Shore, B. M. (2008). Inquiry in education: The conceptual foundations for research as a curricular imperative (Vol. 1). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Baek, Y.-S., Park, H.-J., Kim, Y., Noh, S.-G., Park, J.-Y., Lee, J., et al. (2011). STEAM education in Korea. Journal of Learner-Centered Curriculum and Instruction, 11(4), 149–171.Google Scholar
- Brown, R., Brown, J., Reardon, K., & Merrill, C. (2011). Understanding STEM: Current perceptions. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 70(6), 5–9.Google Scholar
- Cho, H.-S., Kim, H., & Huh, J.-Y. (2012). Understanding converged human resources training (STEAM) through field application cases Open image in new window Open image in new window . Seoul, KR: Korean Educational Development Institute and Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science & Creativity.Google Scholar
- Chu, H. E., Martin, S., & Park, J. (2018). A theoretical framework for developing an intercultural STEAM program for Australian and Korean students to enhance science teaching and learning. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-018-9922-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science. (2015). Vision for a science nation. Responding to science, technology, engineering and mathematics: Australia’s future. Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved from https://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv%3A78103.
- Han, H., & Lee, H. (2012). A study on the teachers’ perceptions and needs of STEAM education. Journal of Learner-Centred Curriculum and Instruction, 12(3), 573–603.Google Scholar
- Hetland, L. (2013). Connecting creativity to understanding. Educational Leadership, 70(5), 65–70.Google Scholar
- Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. M. (2007). Studio thinking: The real benefits of visual arts education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Im, H.-J., & Lee, M.-H. (2012). Pioneer professional development: STEAM pilot school case presentation Open image in new window . Busan, KR: Daeyeon Middle School. Retrieved from https://www.kofac.re.kr/upload/201204/1334539078854.pdf [in Korean].
- International Baccalaureate Organization. (2005–2019). Interdisciplinary learning. Retrieved from https://www.ibo.org/programmes/middle-years-programme/curriculum/interdisciplinary/.
- Jeong, S., & Kim, H. (2015). The effect of a climate change-monitoring program on students’ knowledge and perceptions of STEAM education in the Republic of Korea. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 11(6), 1321–1338.Google Scholar
- Jon, J.-E., & Chung, H.-I. (2013). STEM report—Republic of Korea. In S. Marginson, R. Tytler, B. Freeman, & K. Roberts (Eds.), STEM: Country comparisons (pp. 33–46). Melbourne, AU: Report for the Australian Council of Learned Academies. Retrieved from https://acola.org/stem-country-comparisons-saf02/.
- Koo, H. K., Chu, H.-E., Martin, S., & Choe, S. E. (2017, August 21–25). Exploring the influence of students’ science capital on scientific modelling process and conceptual understanding. Poster presented at the meeting of the European Science Education Research Association, Dublin, Ireland.Google Scholar
- Lee, E-O. (2012). Possibilities and limitations of art education contents applied in STEAM. Journal of Art Education, 33, 287–314. Retrieved from http://www.kci.go.kr/kciportal/landing/article.kci?arti_id=ART001719754#nonen [in Korean].
- Lee, K., Kim, K., & Lee, K.-J. (2013). An analysis of the lesson plans designed by teachers of the elementary STEAM leader schools. Korean Education Review, 19(2), 281–306.Google Scholar
- Lim, S.-M., Kim, Y., & Lee, T.-S. (2014). Analysis of elementary school teachers’ perception on field application of STEAM education. Science Education Research Institute, 38(1), 133–143.Google Scholar
- Lim, Y.-N. (2012). Problems and ways to improve Korean STEAM education based on integrated curriculum. Journal of Elementary Education, 25(4), 53–80.Google Scholar
- Liverpool Girls High School. (2019). STEAM (science technology engineering arts mathematics). Retrieved from https://liverpool-h.schools.nsw.gov.au/learning-at-our-school/steam–science-technology-engineering-arts-mathematics-.html.
- Marginson, S., Tytler, R., Freeman, B., & Roberts, K. (2013). STEM: Country comparisons. Report for the Australian Council of Learned Academies. Retrieved from https://acola.org/stem-country-comparisons-saf02/.
- Martin, M. O., Mullis, I. V. S., Foy, P., & Stanco, G. M. (2012). TIMSS 2011 international results in science. Boston, MA: International Study Centre. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED544560.pdf.
- Martin, M. O., Mullis, I. V. S., Gonzalez, E., Gregory, K., Smith, T., Chrostowski, S., Garden, R., & O’Connor, K. (2000). TIMSS 1999 international science report: Findings from IEA’s repeat of the third international mathematics and science study at the eighth grade. Boston, MA: International Study Centre. Retrieved from https://timss.bc.edu/timss1999i/pdf/T99i_Math_All.pdf.
- Miller, R. (Ed.). (1989). Doing science: Images of science in science education. Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education. (2015). Primary and secondary schools’ curriculum (No. 2015-74). Seoul, KR: Author.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. (2009). The revised 2009 curriculum. Seoul, KR: Author.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. (2010). Paving the way for Korea’s future with creative talents and advanced science and technology (In Business Report 2011). Seoul, KR: Author.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. (2011a). Science curriculum (No. 2011-361). Seoul, KR: Author.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. (2011b). STEAM, the educational policy for 2011 year. Seoul, KR: Author.Google Scholar
- Morrison, J. (2006). Attributes of STEM education: The student, the school, and the classroom. Baltimore, MD: Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM. Retrieved from https://www.partnersforpubliced.org/uploadedFiles/TeachingandLearning/Career_and_Technical_Education/Attributes%20of%20STEM%20Education%20with%20Cover%202%20.pdf.
- New South Wales Education Standards Authority. (2018). Science years 7-10 syllabus. Sydney, AU: Author.Google Scholar
- Noh, H. J., & Paik, S. H. (2014). STEAM experienced teachers’ perception of STEAM in secondary education. Journal of Learner-Centered Curriculum and Instruction, 14(10), 375–402.Google Scholar
- Norton, A., & Cakitaki, B. (2016). Mapping Australian higher education. Melbourne, AU: Grattan Institute.Google Scholar
- Office of the Chief Scientist. (2014). Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: Australia’s future. Canberra, AU: Australian Government.Google Scholar
- Park, H.-J., Kim, Y.-M., Noh, S.-G., Lee, J.-O., Jeong, J.-S., Choi, Y.-H., et al. (2012). Components of 4C-STEAM education and a checklist for the instructional design. Journal of Learner-Centered Curriculum and Instruction, 12(4), 533–557.Google Scholar
- Park, J., Chu, H.-E., & Martin, S. (2017, August 21–25). Examining intercultural arts integrated STEM program. Poster presented at the meeting of the European Science Education Research Association Dublin, Ireland.Google Scholar
- Park, J.-H., & Shin, Y.-J. (2015). The effects of science-based STEAM class on the children’s concept formation of heat transfer. Journal of Science Education, 42(2), 214–229.Google Scholar
- Rabkin, N., & Hedberg, E. C. (2011). Arts education in America: What the decline means for arts participation (Research Report #52). New York, NY: National Endowment for the Arts.Google Scholar
- Rennie, L. J., Venville, G. J., & Wallace, J. (2012). Knowledge that counts in a global community: Exploring the contribution of integrated curriculum. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Sawyer, R. K. (2006). Explaining creativity: The science of human innovation. Oxford, UK: Oxford University.Google Scholar
- Shin, Y., & Han, S. (2011). A study of the elementary school teachers’ perception in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) education. Elementary Science Education, 30(4), 514–523.Google Scholar
- Singhai, P. (2017, September 12). Australia falling behind in science graduates and public funding. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/education/australia-falling-behind-in-science-graduates-and-public-funding-oecd-report-20170912-gyfigs.html.
- Song, S. S. (2004). Growth of science and technology activities in Korea and characteristics of society of scientists and engineers: An exploratory study. Science & Technology Policy, 14(1), 77–93.Google Scholar
- Taylor, P. C. (2016, August 7–9). Why is a STEAM curriculum perspective crucial to the 21st century? Paper presented at the Australian Council for Education Research, Brisbane: Australia. Retrieved from https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1299&context=research_conference.
- Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (n.d.). School-based assessment audit. Retrieved from https://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/administration/schooladministration/schoolbasedassessmentaudit.
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society (M. Cole, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language (A. Kozulin, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Yakman, G. (2006). STEM pedagogical commons for contextual learning (Unpublished master’s thesis). Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.Google Scholar
- Yakman, G. (2008). STE@M education: An overview of creating a model of integrative education. Retrieved from https://www.iteea.org/File.aspx?id=86752&v=75ab076a.