The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between exposure to the arts and performance in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. STEAM, an integration of arts-based instruction into science and math related fields, is viewed as an alternative to traditional STEM academies. The literature briefly examines the current state of STEM programs and the deficiencies in graduate quality and quantity and the call from employers for a more innovative workforce. Advocates for STEAM argue for arts as a means to improve creativity, collaboration, risk-taking and exploration. Arguments against arts in STEM are grounded in political opinions concerning arts funding and logistical complications of implementing STEAM. However, some schools and STEM programs have embraced the STEAM premise and have begun to integrate arts into the traditional curriculum. The 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) dataset was utilized to determine a correlation between the number of arts credits earned and mathematics/science achievement. Results from the NAEP dataset indicated a correlation between the amount of arts credits and increased achievement scores in science and math. The same correlation was found when controlling for demographic factors such as gender, race, and socio-economic status (SES). Overall, the arts' greatest impact was on students identified as "at-risk" or underrepresented in STEM fields. Controlling for these variable groups, one can note the quantifiable differences in scores. Overall, findings of the study provide empirical support for the addition of arts in STEM.
|Commitee:||Fossey, Richard, Hoffman, Sharon|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Art education, Mathematics education, Science education|
|Keywords:||Arts-based education, Cross-curriculum teaching, Integrative instruction, STEAM, STEM|
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