College of Education hosts second year of STEAM teams

The College of Education is hosting its second year of innovative STEAM teams, a challenging, hands-on training opportunity for local educators to teach them how to integrate science, technology, engineering, art and math into their curricula.

Dr. Ashley Gess, professor of education, has created a year-long, three-part workshop with follow-up through December of 2018 that will help educators build a foundational classroom of critical thinking and inquiry learning that will support not only STEM/STEAM instruction, but improve engagement across all subjects.

“An integrative STEM/STEAM approach gives students more than just information,” Gess said. “When implemented correctly, it brings students together in a culture of inquiry and inclusion. It lays the foundation for future learning, and may contribute to an overall reduction in need for RTI interventions.”

The workshops are team-oriented, and Gess encourages schools to send a group of educators working together who can grow together in their approach, reinforce the approach with one another, coach other educators on the methodology and who will be supported by STEM professionals in the CSRA. It won’t leave educators to figure out implementation on their own.

“This is really a different way of thinking about teaching,” Gess said. “We can’t leave educators alone to figure out how to implement it. We’re going to be there alongside them.”

That is why the series includes several follow-up sessions for workshop attendees, as well.

“The follow-up sessions will allow us to tackle real-world problems of practice when implementing new methods,” Gess said. “What challenges are teachers facing on the ground? What resources are available to help them with their specific speed bumps? And it will also allow us to continue to guide their conceptions around creating a classroom of integrative STEAM engagement and inquiry learning.”

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