On my website wyrddesign.net I posted a video I created regarding STEAM in the unschool setting. View here: http://www.wyrddesign.net/video.html It was a variety of quotes from adults whom had grown up in an unschooled environment. I would like to discuss the unschool philosophy and how I believe it ties in rather seamlessly with the STEAM education concept.
What is unschooling?
Unschooling is not as much what the name implies. We do not just let our children sit and play video games and watch TV all day. Unschooling is more aptly described as “Child lead learning.”
You allow the child to pursue the avenues that interest them the most. This works better for children to develop their interests in certain topics. In the school setting it is typical for a child to perhaps find a subject that interests them but often the class based on standardized education is forced to leave that subject behind in a day or weeks time. This does not give the child an opportunity to cultivate their interests and become an expert on the subject.
In the typical school setting a teacher is unable to cater to all of the different learning styles. This means that often children who just have a different learning style is left behind as the class progresses.
This is not the case in Unschooling where the child can be given one on one time to understand concepts with out pressure and in different ways. An example would be; In science class your child has been taught about the process of Metamorphosis but they do not entirely grasp it. If the child was at home their parent could take them out to a nearby drainage ditch or pond and show them the frogs that are in various stages from egg to tadpole to frog. These types of hands on learning skills are incredibly beneficial for children who learn differently.
This is where we see the integration of STEAM and Unschooling. STEAM education includes all aspects of learning and most importantly the learning style that relies heavily on visualizations and hands on applications. ART.
It is no surprise that children who are exposed to the STEAM and Unschooling learning styles thrive and often go onward into careers that nurture their creativity.