- More schools are combining arts instruction with STEM-focused teaching, both for funding purposes and to provide opportunities for hands-on instruction in both areas, but unifying the historically disparate fields requires finessing.
- STEAM expert Denise Douglas-Faraci, an associate professor at Kaplan University, says successfully implementing programs can take time, but schools should devote designated periods of time each week to working out the kinks.
- She also encourages flexibility, as it won’t always be possible for teachers’ schedule to overlap, adding that clear communication with students about what will happen is also essential.
STEAM programs are still new to most schools and school leaders. For teachers, that means adopting them can be a bit of an adjustment. But Douglas-Faraci says if school administrators can give teachers the space to join and plan together, momentum will build.
“Once the kids get under way with the curriculum and people have an opportunity to see all the affordances of blending art and math together, for example, there may be other teachers who decide to come on board the next year or next semester,” she told eSchool News. Douglas-Faraci also urged leaders to find academic purpose in the collaboration, such as pursuing deeper learning objectives and bringing real world ideas and objects into the classroom.