The Whole Child Approach and the Importance of Teaching Art

Local STEAM Program

A foundational principle at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is “Hug First, Then Teach.” Unlike many daycare centers or childcare providers, this methodology is a whole-child approach that works to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being. The whole-child approach is present in all the curriculum at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy, including STEAM studies.

Most people are familiar with STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. However, there is also a hybrid movement that is gaining more and more traction: STEAM. STEAM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The STEAM movement works towards more effectively sparking the imagination of the student. As a result, the movement is helping shift children’s focus towards innovation through hands-on STEM projects.

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STEM or STEAM

The main difference between STEM and STEAM is that STEM encompasses a modern approach to science and related subjects. STEM concentrates on problem-solving with critical thinking and analytical skills. STEAM education explores the same topics but incorporates creative thinking and applied arts into teaching and real situations. This brilliant addition enriches educational pursuits.

Art involves discovering and creating interesting and ingenious ways of problem-solving, integrating principles, and presenting the information. By adding the element of art to STEM-based thinking, children and students can employ both sides of their brain —analytical and creative— to become the best thinkers of the future. The STEAM paradigm shapes young minds to be problem solvers with a creative, innovative flair.

Moving from STEM to STEAM

Some critics are concerned that studying the arts would take time away from focusing on traditional STEM subjects. It is true that mastery of STEM concepts is necessary for technological progress. However, the inclusion of the “A” for arts is essential for students to achieve their full potential. Studying the arts provides students with the freedom and opportunity to fully harness the capabilities of STEM subjects.

The arts is a term that encompasses the liberal arts, language arts (reading, writing, and speaking), social studies, physical arts, fine arts, and music. STEAM education focuses on applying creative thinking to STEM projects in order to ignite youthful imagination and creativity through the arts. The approach seeks to explore how art elevates and amplifies the STEM subjects. Studying art subjects strengthens the development of essential skills like collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Art also improves a student’s flexibility, adaptability, productivity, responsibility, and innovation. These skills are essential for a successful career in any field of study and for life in general.

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Science and art go hand-in-hand

At first glance, it seems that scientists and artists have little in common. If people dig a little deeper, they soon realize that art and science are not so different. While science has changed the creative fields through advanced technology, artists offer new insights and perspectives that impact scientific progress. Art’s contribution to technological advancement is all too often overlooked or ignored. With technology becoming faster, smaller, and more complex, the scientific field has started to rely on the arts more than ever for solutions and creative ideas.

As the STEAM paradigm is adopted in classrooms and other learning environments, new teaching methods have emerged. Teachers can add arts into STEM by applying graphics to projects, or they can use the performing arts to communicate a STEM project. The possibilities are vast. By encouraging students to use their artistic talents to generate innovative thinking, teachers allow art to become a powerful catalyst that excites learning.

About Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk

Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy is a Circa FishHawk, FL preschool that is widely recognized for its positive use of concepts and innovative projects, activities, and toys that grow the child along many dimensions. Children are exposed to hands-on learning, and they are challenged and encouraged to think critically and creatively. They have the freedom to apply essential content knowledge in meaningful and fun ways.

For more information about the educational preschool, contact Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk at (813) 654-7000 or visit the website at https://kidsrkids.com/the-kids-r-kids-story/.

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