NAEA Position Statement on STEAM Education
[Adopted March 2014; Reviewed and Revised March 2017]
May 23, 2019
STEAM education refers to teaching and learning in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The STEAM approach is the integration of the arts and design principles, concepts, and techniques into STEM instruction and learning. High-quality STEAM instruction is achieved through the use of STEAM curricula and the collaboration of non-arts educators with certified/licensed visual art educators and/or teaching artists, art museums, university art education programs and community-based arts organizations. It includes educational activities across all grade levels in both classrooms and in community-based settings.
STEAM approaches support the inclusion and involvement of professionals and resources from the community to support STEAM programs. Artists and designers experienced with STEAM are integral to driving workforce innovation in a variety of fields. NAEA believes that to be successful in STEM related career fields, students must be proficient in visual thinking and creative problem-solving facilitated by a strong visual art education. That said, NAEA believes that STEAM education should be among several approaches to arts learning and should not be considered a replacement for standards-based visual arts education or instruction.
Visual arts content and artistic ways of thinking are fundamental and valuable components of high-quality STEAM education. NAEA believes that:
- STEAM education values all STEAM disciplines equally
- STEAM education is implemented through a wide variety of approaches
- STEAM education encourages creativity and innovation
STEAM education acknowledges the rigor found in the visual arts