What is STEM and Why African Parents Should Care
William Jackson, M.Ed.
The world is changing on the continent of Africa, the incorporation
of technology will not stop, the integration of technology in homes
is changing how people communicate on the dynamic African continent.
The engagement of educational
initiatives that will train and teach children for the future is progressing
and creating a transformative paradigm shift in how teachers teach
even the basics of an educational foundation.
African children must be prepared for careers not even available
now and be able to solve complex problems that will challenge the
ability to function in a technology rich environment.
The earth is much smaller because of digital communication, and
African people are able to participate in distance learning collaborations.
These build the intellectual abilities of youth, teens and young adults
dreaming of being entrepreneurs.
STEAM and STEM initiatives are being provided by the growth and integration of academic elements being taught in schools. Because
technology has advanced it is important for the engagement of tools
to be fused into educational initiatives like STEM/STEAM/STREAM/
CSTREAM and STEM2, each has a powerful individual effect in the
world helping to solve problems that affect human survival and growth.
These are the infusion of science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, math and in some cases medicine. The goal is, “to engage the whole child and foster high achievement in all areas,” teacher centeredas defined by STE[+a]M, a website created to share information about the blending of arts and sciences.
The new thinking of building African minds is that STEAM creates a
curriculum that embraces elements to allow students to hone their
personal knowledge and technical aptitudes and advance in areas
that are new, but needed to help nations grow in competitiveness.
A new way of thinking after studying of the brain that shows
creativity helps students to learn. The artistic development and
the scientific techniques are more complimentary than first thought.
The blending of STEM and STEAM skills requires students to engage
in creative application, critical and higher order thinking that supports collaborative and cooperative learning. Learning that pushes and
challenges thinking and rationalization, bringing about success that
is transferable in advanced areas of appliance and application in society.
Many careers are now influenced from STEM curriculum’s that help
determine the paths for students.
As an Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM instructor at
Edward Waters College, educators, artists, and scientists recognize
the importance of blending the arts and sciences believing that this can lead to richer student learning. STEAM is complimentary with 21st artistic, scientific, and technological century skills. There is much
teacher-centered instruction, the student must be the center of learning and involve the “4 Cs”: Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication.
So important are these elements and how instruction is performed
that the organizations of the National Science Foundation, the
National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Department of
Education are joining to make sure current and future models of
learning properly prepare students to be the skilled laborers this nation needs to lead in the 21st 22nd and 23rd centuries for students in the United States and even assisting nations around the world.
Africa is building students at a rapid pace to be the educational,
technical, commercial and commerce leaders it needs to take nations and the continent into the 21st and 22nd centuries as a leader. Those responsible in government, sciences, business, and even commerce need to work together to make sure there are enough STEM experts nationally to assist in the building and restructuring of the continent.
Resources about STEM and STEAM: