STEM is not cool…What if we add Art?: STEAM is cool!

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math – is our chance for the future, our opportunity to be part of the running world!

Unfortunately, in Italy we are focused on simply listing our structural poor results at all levels, without seriously discussing potential actions in education (“more investment” is not an effective action!) even if PIAAC illustrates them hoping that the citizens will benefit from a more effective education policy!
There is big discussion abroad regarding in particular STEM subjects and the way both learning and teaching methods can become more effective at school and at home.

But STEM seems to be, at least appear, not very attractive: too many numbers, signs, formalism… too complex, too difficult! STEM is definitely not cool!
In particular, Math is considered the enemy and somebody is even asking to change its M for Music! But Math is the basis of all STEM subjects! Math is a form of Art, with a strong connection with Music and with a peculiar embedded creativity.
The issue is that Math should be taught and learnt as an artistic and imaginative pursuit, but unfortunately this is very rare in the current educational systems.
If the situation doesn’t change, better to stop learning it!

I personally suggest not to change M in “Music” but to add “Art” into STEM. Please, read “Art” but understand “creativity”, meaning in general terms the ability to build new and useful ideas, the engine of our progress as human beings.
With Art and Creativity embedded in STEAM, the STEM subjects, starting from Math, could become more attractive, easier to understand and master hence considered definitely cooler to be taught and learnt.
Maybe if we added “Art” in STEM we could start a real debate regarding STEAM education and its future in Italy. STEAM would be considered attractive also in Italy, where creativity is part of our country DNA.

STEAM is cool!


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