STEAME - The next level in education
Professor Gregoris A. Makrides, PhD.
The novel framework enriches the old approach with creativity, criticism, research, innovation and skills related to entrepreneurship
Education from the end of the 20th century to the present seems to follow a different path from traditional methods as it is inextricably linked to the economic, social, political and cultural developments taking place globally.
By recognising that today's education system cannot follow change and try to meet the demands of a globalised society, it is constantly undergoing reforming education programmes by introducing and applying innovative teaching methods and practices.
The educational policies of the EU member states, through innovations, aim at developing and cultivating critical thinking, teamwork, knowledge building, technological literacy, and basic skills that pupils need to have in order to adapt themselves to modern challenges.
STEAME (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and entreprenuership) training is considered to be a driving force for developing important aspects of life and the economy, as well as preparing students for the future.
The pace of global change is so fast that tomorrow's jobs have not yet been invented or defined. Over the last 20 years, technology has completely transformed the global scene. Given this rate of change, the education system can only assume what will be created over the next 20 years.
Therefore, education should not revolve around learning information, but also developing skills and character that allow students to adapt to an uncertain world, specifically to a dynamically changing world. In recent years, the creation of a STEAME school was an important step towards the necessary educational redesign.
The Cyprus Mathematical Society is involved in several European funded projects that develop methods, tools, activities, guidelines and material that evolve the traditional "lesson plans" to "learning and creativity plans" giving a prototype for the future school learning environment.
The key to a change in the learning process and in the school environment is always the teacher. No matter how well design methods and tools one develops, if the teachers cannot deliver it or support then there will be no development and no impact.
Whatever material and tools are developed are nowadays becoming contradictory for teachers, simply because by the time they finish the training and implementation, there will be new tools and technologies.
The solution to this is provided by another project called L-Cloud: developing tomorrow's cloud education leaders, which developed a qualifications framework that will help future teachers to be adaptable to changes, new tools and especially cloud computing.
Without entrepreneurial skills, it is not possible to innovate and expect impact to life and this was missing from the current definition of 'STEAM' activities.
Therefore, STEAME Schools is a new educational approach that uses science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and entrepreneurship as a reference point for guiding student research, dialogue, critical thinking and entrepreneurial mindset.
The STEAME framework takes STEAM to the next level, enriching it with creativity, criticism, research and innovation and skills related to entrepreneurship with introduction to technology transfer into the economy for better life.
The STEAME School model should ensure the interdisciplinary approach of its topics, incorporating a multi-faceted exploration and study of a subject that ensures transferable knowledge and its applications.
The cross-thematic approach helps build a more holistic understanding of how the world really works and motivates students to find solutions to the challenges.
Communicating maths and science are an important element in this new methodology and guidelines and activities are in place to support this under the completed project Le-Math and the unique international conference for pupils of age nine to 18 called Euromath and Euroscience.
Professor Gregoris A. Makrides, PhD, is a professor of applied mathematics and president of Cyprus Mathematical Society, European Association of ERASMUS Coordinators, European Association of Career Guidance and THALES Foundation. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.