When discussing education, it’s common to place different subjects and areas of studies into their own little box. Schools may divide up the students’ day by subject and schedule a specific time to study each. The concept makes sense: during certain times, students will concentrate on certain things and this boosts concentration and an overall understanding of what is being studied. However, we know that in our changing world, the ability to multitask and draw from all of our education and experience is a necessary skill.
It’s not just important for future careers and higher education. The concept of “transdisciplinary skills” is beneficial in all stages of life and education. It is the school that divides subjects, not the mind, and certainly not the child. When a child takes their first steps in formal education, they will absorb the new information however it is presented, and this will have and an effect on how they process new information in the future.
By combining subjects like science and art in the classroom, students learn to take a unique approach when solving problems. Rather than viewing a question as a linear “problem” that requires a specific “answer”, kids use all of the resources at their disposal, including their imaginations. It is this kind of non-linear thinking that fosters creativity, innovation, and exploration. Learning should not simply be reciting what we already know, but exploring the world around us and forming new and unique ideas.
They also become aware that everything in the world is related. They develop an open-minded approach to not just their educational experience. They learn that everything is valuable, regardless of its subject and label. When children see the relationships between different subjects, they are better prepared to see relationships throughout culture and the world and grow as global citizens.
Specifically, project-based learning combines science and the arts. Students don’t learn the sciences straight from a book, but rather, they explore the sciences through projects, and not just experiments. Many science experiments are art in themselves, but students are able to explore and illustrate their understanding through art projects.
Learning is not simply about absorbing information, but also presenting a comprehension of what has been learned. Each child expresses themselves and their understanding differently, and fusing two subjects like science and art gives various types of learners the opportunity to show what they have learned in a way that works for them. It enhances communication and fosters a deeper understanding.
By removing the rigid guidelines for learning and combining subjects like art and education, students experience many benefits. At Red Door Early Learning Center, we fully embrace a STEAM based-curriculum that includes the arts. By encouraging imagination, wonder, and exploration, we give our students the tools to succeed in education and beyond.