There’s been a big push for incorporating lessons and activities that use STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Craft, and Mathematics. But how exactly do these multilayered projects help students? Why do we need more Nigerian teachers to understand and be actively involved in STEAM learning?
Using STEAM education helps us have students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in solving problems, embrace cooperation and collaboration. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century! This comprehensive article will help you understand why you need some form of STEAM education as a teacher in Nigeria!
Today, you will discover how important STEAM education is today, and you will find out where to learn STEAM education efficiently in Nigeria!
When your students engage in activities that combine different elements of STEAM, they experience guided inquiry in which they must ask thoughtful questions, discover answers, apply what they learn, and problem-solve creatively.
The thing is, Our world is a beautiful, complex, and intricate tapestry of learning all in its own right. Why do we believe that we have the ability or the right to box it in behind brick walls and classroom doors in a place called school?
Integrating concepts, topics, standards and assessments is a powerful way to disrupt the typical course of events for our students and to help change the merry-go-round of “school.”
It takes what we do when we open the doors to the real world and places those same practices in our cycles of teaching and learning. So we can finally remove the brick walls and classroom doors to get at the heart of learning, solving real-world problems gradually with the innovative minds that we raise.
Becoming a STEAM Teacher
As more schools are shifting to include a STEAM approach, there’s a general question that many start to ask: Who are the STEAM teachers? Then, of course, we start to explore follow up questions like:
- When does STEAM occur? Is it a class or is it throughout the day?
- What makes a person qualified to teach STEAM?
- Are there STEAM credentials?
- Do we just transform STEM teachers into STEAM teachers?
- Is STEAM reserved for the art class? Does that mean we need to reconfigure art time?
Once you head down this path, you start to see all of the forks in the road. These can lead you down a totally different journey than what you originally anticipated. Let’s explore each of these variations to get some clarity around an expanding and evolving approach.
Who teaches STEAM?
The answer to this question is easy: everyone. Everyone in a school has the capacity to be a STEAM teacher. It’s not limited to just the art teacher or just the science teacher. It’s everyone.
This can seem oversimplified, but honestly, it’s an inherent quality of this approach. STEAM, like it’s counterparts STEM and Arts Integration, is based on a foundation of integration. We’re trying to look at these areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts and math in tandem, rather than apart.
By limiting or labeling someone as the “STEAM Teacher”, you’re cutting out the very heart of this idea. We’re all STEAM teachers.
This goes back to the idea of “it’s not my job to teach that”. We’ve all heard people say things like:
“It’s not my job to teach those kindergarteners to tie their shoes.”
“It’s not my job to explain basic math functions to these kids.”
“It’s not my job to show my students how to hold a paintbrush”.
Guess what? It IS your job. It’s all of our jobs. We are a community and we all help each other. That’s how communities work. What benefits students, benefits us all.
With that in mind, if the opportunity is there to teach a STEAM lesson, take it! No one teacher has ownership of an approach. We’re all in this together.
Where to learn STEAM as a Teacher
The best place to learn STEAM as a Nigerian teacher is to take Steam Empowerment Foundation Teachers training cost for a very reasonable fee!
Register for STEAM FOR TEACHERS online course.