The focus in education on STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a great start to creating scientifically and technologically literate students. And yet, a growing chorus of educators are asking where the arts fits in all of that? Is an arts education merely something that is nice to have, or is it actually essential for success in the 21st century?
Experts such as John Seely Brown and RISD's John Maeda argue that the pendulum swing between teaching the arts versus teaching science represents a false dichotomy.
Maeda says we can expand STEM into STEAM -- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics -- if we focus on three fronts. The first is the reintegration of the arts into K-12 curriculum. The second front is research, or "getting more countries to adopt arts in their research advancement structures. The third and final component to implementing STEAM, Maeda says, is to get more employers interested in hiring artists and designers, creatives."
Maeda sees advancement on all three fronts. Similarly, John Seely Brown sees the humanities as the key to innovation today.