Chapter 1. An Ontology of Computational STEAM: The Role of Educational Technology

J.C. Olabe, X. Basogain y M.A. Olabe
A Closer Look at Educational Technology
Ciudad de edición y/o Editorial:
New York, Nova Science Publishers
Series: Technology in a Globalizing World, Maria A. Clausen (Editor).
Página de inicio - Página de fin:
1 - 27

Educational systems around the world have embarked during the last decade on a set of ambitious paradigmatic projects that can be grouped under the umbrella names of STEM and STEAM. Two fundamental ideas motivate these projects. The first idea is that the citizens of the modern society are required to have a solid education in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or STEAM (adding the Arts and Humanities). The second idea is that these subjects need to be taught and learned not as separate and isolated topics, but rather as integral components of a superior entity. As expected in any large-scale project, particularly when it includes diverse constituencies, such as academia, industry, and national policy makers, the initial phases of the projects reveal fundamental conflicts. These emanate from the assumptions that each participating community brings to the table and how they understand the goals and the best paths to achieve them. This chapter identifies the three fundamental obstacles that currently are preventing the development of successful large-scale STEAM projects. It defines an ontology of these projects, labeled Computational STEAM. This ontology is used to describe a STEAM project in computational terms. It includes the goals set out by industry, the content intended for its curriculum, the methodology for teaching and learning, and the working tools that the citizens will use in the modern society.

This formal description of goals, content, methods, and means, is designed to serve as the standard reference for the constructive dialog between the constituencies involved in the design of STEAM projects: academia, industry, and national policy makers. This ontology, Computational STEAM, is presented as the combination of three fundamental components: content or curriculum; methodology of teaching and learning; and computation as generative language of action. The first, curriculum, describes what is to be learned and taught during the twelve years of primary and secondary education in the areas of STEAM. The second, the methodology and human cognitive scope, describes the type of cognitive tasks that modern work requires and the cognitive abilities to be developed in our students. The third, computation as generative language of action, introduces the fundamental idea of creating systems and processes as the means to advance knowledge, provide services and solve problems.

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