In the News: Turning “STEM” into “STEAM” Is Counterproductive to Protecting Arts Education
Jay Greene argues in an Ed Week commentary that supporters of arts education are making a mistake when they try to sell the idea of integrating arts education into the study of science, technology, engineering and math.
Most arts advocates are trying to turn STEM into STEAM not because they find interdisciplinary instruction so attractive, but because they recognize that the arts are being squeezed out of the curriculum and hope to protect them by joining other, more “popular” subjects.
Arts advocates have made this mistake before, trying to demonstrate arts education’s value by claiming that it increases performance in math and reading. Unfortunately, as researchers Ellen Winner, Thalia R. Goldstein, and Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin documented in a 2013 report for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, there is little evidence that arts instruction improves outcomes in math or reading.
In “Advocating for the Arts in the Classroom,” Mark Bauerlein wrote for EdNext about the case for studying art because of the inherent value of the subject material and the importance of students encountering “lasting works of force and beauty.”
— Education Next