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Giving Science Wings STEM education may be critical for economic growth, but more and more studies show that the arts foster the creativity needed to give science its wings. By Mary MacDonell Belisle
The worksheet. For many, this innocent device used to teach and quantify subject matter, epitomizes the minimum approach to education. In a world begging for talented employees, the focus has been on science, technology, engineering, and math – known by the acronym STEM. But more can be done to prepare children for life and fulfilling careers. In both education and business, there are rumblings that STEM is not enough. The arts are returning to favor,
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re-imagined as an essential part of a holistic education fit for the future. Enter STEAM: science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. “We constrain individuals for the test and the measurable,” Dennis Whipple, executive director, GREAT Theatre, said. “Employers aren’t looking for someone good at worksheets. They want creative thinkers with skills required for the job.” Unfortunately, according to a recent survey of 500 senior executives by Adecco USA, the second-largest provider
of recruitment/staffing in the nation, 92 percent of business executives think Americans aren’t as skilled as they need to be, and 45 percent lack the deeper learning skills needed for success in the workforce. ART EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE “We can’t be monochromatic in our teaching,” Jane Oxton said. Oxton recently retired as director of education and outreach for the Paramount Center for the Arts.
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