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Designing STEAM education: fostering relationality through design-led disruption


MacDonald, AJ and Wise, K and Tregloan, K and Wallis, L and Fountain, W and Holmstrom, N, Designing STEAM education: fostering relationality through design-led disruption, The International Journal of Art & Design Education, 39, (1) ISSN 1476-8062 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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© 2019 NSEAD and John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: MacDonald, A., Wise, K., Tregloan, K., Fountain, W., Wallis, L. and Holmstrom, N. (2020), Designing STEAM Education: Fostering Relationality through Design‐Led Disruption. Int J Art Des Educ, 39: 227-241, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

DOI: doi:10.1111/jade.12258


A significant contention underpinning the commentary around STEM/STEAM is the evidence of discipline hierarchies, and inherent binary perspectives and/or biases that lend themselves to privileging one or more disciplines over another in an interdisciplinary education context. The current focus on increasing engagement with STEM in Australian schools provides opportunities to explore how the creative and liberal arts, and arts-based approaches to teaching and learning are being adopted to significantly enhance teaching and learning outcomes in and for STEM education. This article examines how design for a STEAM education program evolves and is adopted in an Australian context. Tasmania represents one of the most vibrant creative communities in Australia. At the same time it has one of the lowest levels of educational attainment. Entrenched teaching habits and disciplinary hierarchies often create significant barriers to the implementation of STEAM despite genuine goodwill and enthusiasm for STEAM among teachers and within schools. This article argues that, despite the contrasting dynamics extant in the Tasmanian educational context, it is here that some of the nationís most curious and exciting examples of STEAM teaching and learning have emerged. It offers an example of an innovative learning project and proposes the means by which these disciplinary strands have been effectively entwined.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:STEAM, inter-disciplinary curriculum, collaborative inquiry, relational pedagogy, experiential learning, design/build
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Creative arts, media and communication curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:MacDonald, AJ (Dr Abbey MacDonald)
UTAS Author:Wallis, L (Dr Louise Wallis)
UTAS Author:Fountain, W (Dr Wendy Fountain)
UTAS Author:Holmstrom, N (Mr Neil Holmstrom)
ID Code:134749
Year Published:2020 (online first 2019)
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2019-09-02
Last Modified:2021-10-01
Downloads:28 View Download Statistics

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