STEM, STEAM and the spaces between: Explicating the enablers and inhibitors of interdisciplinary teaching and learning
MacDonald, AJ, STEM, STEAM and the spaces between: Explicating the enablers and inhibitors of interdisciplinary teaching and learning, Book of abstracts, 3-5 July, Sunshine Coast, Australia, pp. 76. (2019) [Conference Extract]
This presentation explores how disciplinary acronyms such as STEM and STEAM are being mobilised to empower or exclude particular disciplines, and how this impacts enactment of the three dimensions of the Australian Curriculum. While researchers and curriculum developers continue to grapple with different, disparate or conflicting interpretations of how interdisciplinary teaching unfolds from the theory-practice nexus, something organic is taking shape at the ‘chalk face’ that we risk overlooking.
In fostering opportunities for pre and in-service teachers to co-explore examples of pedagogy and practice through relational encounters, this presentation posits how teacher educators can facilitate collaborative professional learning experience that aligns powerfully with the teacher professional learning opportunities teachers will be presented with upon their graduation. Distilling the enablers and inhibitors of successful interdisciplinary agendas must first be ascertained in order to make way for transdisciplinary outcomes. Using a Tasmanian professional learning event as a case study, the presentation unpacks how
teachers, schools and industry collaborators are working together to make visible and celebrate outstanding interdisciplinary teaching in STEM and/or STEAM contexts.
By focussing on the contested spaces between disciplines and their inherent pedagogies, the distinctiveness and potential of various differentiations of disciplinarity agendas are implicating upon education can be better understood. In turn, implications for recognising, embracing and prioritising ways of knowing and teaching inherent to all disciplines in the spaces between curriculum and pedagogy are posited as integral to equipping young people to face uncertain futures.
STEM, STEAM, teacher professional learning, festivals of practice