The present world is moving towards the fourth industrial revolution. In this techno-ecosystem, different types of jobs, which we haven’t imagined and do not exist today, will be available in the near future. The present scenario places challenges on all the educators to produce a generation capable of handling these future jobs.
To cope with the changing world, the developed countries have been investing heavily in multi-disciplinary subjects – STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), which back in 2001 was called STEM. STEAM has evolved to fill the gaps in STEM.
Though the concept of STEAM has flourished in the developed countries, it is still in its infancy in Nepal. A handful of universities, academic institutions and self-motivated private institutions have given priority to STEM, and some are in a state of adopting STEAM, hoping to instill in the students sound knowledge about critical thinking, confidence, close observation, experimental learning, inquiry, dialogue and effective communication so that they can compete with the students who have graduated from the top universities around the world. In fact, students who have acquired a STEAM education engage in experimental learning, collaborate with others, involve in problem solving, think out of the box, handle activities and projects with more precision and creativity. STEAM students see never ending possibilities and create their own career paths. STEAM diversifies the methods and pedagogies of learning, experimenting, educating and experiencing the cosmos.
In my one-decade-long career as a science teacher, what I have seen is that students who are actively engaged in arts have performed equally well in science and maths in school. It means that art is interrelated with science and maths, but we haven’t researched and haven’t tried to know more in detail about this aspect.
STEAM exists everywhere, the problem is we fail to recognise its importance. Also I have realised that STEAM education must be implemented at the school level as a major subject since it focusses on creativity, innovation and reflection to engage and solve problems in the future. Trust me, STEAM education will play a major role in changing the lives of all students in the days to come if it is applied properly from elementary to doctorate level. Some A class schools could give it a start and others will follow.
A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.