Holistic Identity Development in STEAM
Keywords:STEAM, STEM, Play, Inquiry
Holistic STEAM programs can benefit children by allowing them to develop an intersecting identity in STEAM disciplines, explore real-world issues more broadly, think critically and innovatively, solve problems using integrated approaches, and have confidence across multiple fields of study. Much of the current research situates identity development in single subjects such as science, math, or engineering. However, a broader conceptualization of identity in STEAM can influence the creation or progression of STEAM curriculum, environments, and programs to support the unique, organic construction of a child’s identity development across multiple
disciplines. Suggestions for creating optimal conditions for holistic STEAM identity development include using an interactionist approach, developing meaningfully integrated and relevant real-world explorations, utilizing inquiry, interest, and play, and using a flexible curriculum that allows for divergence and creativity.
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