When I think about education reform for this country I have to take a deep breathe. There are many complications that exist that prevent change in our system. However, it will take energy and commitment from us and our leaders to transform our system into a more modern structure of learning. Two items of interest that are related to one another are the STEM and STEAM education initiatives. They were both designed to encourage progress and competitiveness in our educational system.
Our 17th placement in the world in education highlights this country's need for transformation and improvement in our educational system. To learn more about our ranking visit The Learning Curve Pearson report developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Essentially, STEM encourages Federal programs to target Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEAM adds an A for Art/Design to STEM. The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) started this initiative. Learn more about STEAM including case studies at their website StemtoSteam.org
There was a House Resolution 319 Bill that was sponsored by Rep. James Langevin from Rhode Island. The bill was introduced on June 21, 2011 but was not passed and not reintroduced.
On February 4, 2013 he and others sponsored another bill, H. Res. 51:
"Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that adding art and design into Federal programs that target the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States.
Whereas the innovative practices of art and design play an essential role in improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and advancing STEM research:..."
More details can be found at Govtrack.us The bill was sent to a congressional committee which will consider it before sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.
There is a petition to encourage House Representatives to Support STEAM found at SignOn.org
I know that I would not have gone on to succeed in my education experience without art classes. They were an integral part of my college and graduate school training. Art continues to be part of my everyday life, it has provided me the opportunity for a career as well as my own personal outlet and hobby.
I encourage you to explore this subject and help give our young generation the opportunity for success encouraging STEAM. The arts is an integral part of being innovative. All of these subjects Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Mathematics go hand and hand. One needs a creative, educated mind in order to produce and take a leading role in progress.