The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education is now available via subscription. Visit About to learn more, meet the editorial board, or learn about the subscriber services.

Dismiss
Show Summary Details

Page of

 PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, EDUCATION (oxfordre.com/education). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 December 2018

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, with Art)

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Please check back later for the full article.

“STEAM education,” the addition of “arts” to STEM subjects, is a multi-vocal and problematic concept, reflecting many global and often conflicting drivers shaping education in current times.

While STEM has currency as an essentially economic term identifying those educational areas that have greatest impact on a developed country's GDP, the pedagogical and curricula implications are less obvious. STEAM retains this lack of educational clarity, indeed adds to it, firstly, by being itself a portmanteau term; secondly, by having varied modalities and associated purposes; and thirdly, because the terms “art” and “arts” are also used interchangeably, and often uncritically. Thus, it is unclear if “art” or “arts” refer to, for example, the arts, or specific art forms/practices, or pedagogies used in teaching art subjects or arts and humanities. It is also unclear whether STEAM is intended to imply a reconfiguration of disciplinary relationships, interdisciplinary relationships, or transdisciplinary conceptions of the subject.