Maria Regina Catholic Primary School has been invited to lead in Australia by pioneering a case study research project on the implementation of STEAM-based learning in primary schools. Our new STEAM/Arts Educator, Dr Bronwen Wade-Leeuwen collaborated with Director of Bookform.com.au, Carey Furze, to capture the children's socio-emotional intelligence in an e-publication. Carey is responsible for developing the world’s-first technology on socio-emotional intelligence being piloted in Australia, Singapore, India & the US. The program aims to give teachers greater autonomy to try new learning programs and initiatives in their teaching practice.
Dr Wade brings with her academic expertise and 30+ years of teaching experience across primary, high school, and tertiary education. Her PhD research investigates creativity and innovation and explores how Art & Design are core to an integrated STEAM education approach. She found the main difference between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and STEAM education is STEM explicitly focuses on scientific concepts thereby not recognising students with more of an Arts tendency.
STEAM investigates the same scientific concepts but does this through inquiry and problem-based learning methods. Dr Wade says, "...teaching STEAM means that children are learning how to interpret and communicate important scientific concepts while building their 21st century capacities. Working through STEAM/Arts education at Maria Regina Catholic School, the children are learning how to use some of the latest technological approaches to learning including fostering their socio-emotional intelligence". For further information about STEAM Ahead Australia: https://www.steamaheadaustralia.com.
Carey says, "Bookform projects are not just about delivering content but focuses on facilitating the learning process of students to develop key 21st century skills". In this project, the Year 5 and Year 6 students created content for their Mother’s Day Project over a period of five workshops. Firstly, the students learnt how to draw a portrait of the face using a mirror. Once the students became familiar with the proportions of the face, they imagined what their mother’s face looked like and expressed these details using watercolours and chalk. A week later, the students photographed their paintings and manipulated these into portraits of their Mother. Carey Furze kindly visited the school on two consecutive Wednesdays to instruct students in how to access Bookform, sign into their account and manipulate the content.