The Impact of a School Developed STEAM Curriculum on First Grade Students’ Cognitive Development in the Mathematics, Language, and Literacy Domains
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STEAM education can be defined as a transdisciplinary approach to learning that intentionally integrates concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with the arts (Gess, 2017). Students apply concepts from multiple disciplines in real-world lessons to make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy (Tsupros, Kohler, & Hallinen, 2009). STEAM education initiatives have increased exponentially in the United States. However, there is limited research on student learning outcomes as it relates to STEAM curriculum. To address this issue, this study examined the impact of a school developed STEAM curriculum on first grade students’ cognitive development in the mathematics, language, and literacy domains. The study is a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest comparison group study. The study compared two groups from English classrooms in an elementary school located in an urban school district in southeast Texas. The first group included three classrooms consisting of 39 first grade students where a school developed STEAM curriculum was implemented. The second group consisted of three classrooms with 33 first grade students following the traditional district curriculum. The purpose of this study was to provide empirical data and add to the limited research information on the impact of a school developed STEAM curriculum on first grade students’ cognitive development in the mathematics, language, and literacy domains. The Brigance Inventory of Early Development (IED) III, The STAR Math, and district benchmark assessments were used measure the mathematics domain. Language and literacy domains were measured with the Achievement Improvement Monitoring System (AIMSweb) Test of Early Literacy (TEL) 2012 in reading and The Brigance Inventory of Early Development (IED) III. The results of the study indicate that there was no significant difference across all measures between the STEAM and non-STEAM groups on the gains made in each of the cognitive domains. A discussion of implications and potential rationales for the results is discussed.
Institutional Repository URIhttps://hdl.handle.net/10657.1/2576