STEAM education and autonomous learning: Rethinking the future of education

The education landscape is undergoing dramatic changes with the introduction of AI. In the past, teachers played a central role as transmitters of information, but now AI technology has greatly improved the accessibility of learning, allowing learners to actively advance their learning at their own pace. It is now possible. This technological advancement has transformed the role of teachers, requiring them to function as guides and facilitators. It is important for educators to explore teaching methods that meet the needs of each learner and recognize the need for new educational approaches.

The educational approach of the Showa era often emphasized discipline and norms, and tended to overlook the individual needs and individuality of learners. However, in modern society, there is a strong demand for autonomous learning and self-growth, which is difficult to cope with using the traditional educational system alone. Education must embrace new values, respecting the principles of justice, freedom and autonomy.

In this context, in order to develop autonomous human beings, it is essential to develop scientific inquiry skills. These skills, including problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, can be developed through STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. STEM education allows students to learn through experiments and projects, not only deepening their basic understanding of science and technology, but also allowing them to gain experience in setting their own challenges and seeking solutions.

Additionally, STEAM education (STEM plus art) provides a more holistic approach to education by incorporating elements of not only science and technology but also the arts that promote creativity and innovative thinking. Art plays an important role in fostering creativity and innovation in fields such as technology and science, helping learners consider problems from diverse perspectives and finding unique solutions.

Educational transformation should also focus on fostering learner independence and autonomy. It is important to create an environment in which learners can deepen their self-understanding, learn based on their own interests, and grow. Achieving this requires providing opportunities for learners to solve problems and act on their own initiative through project-based learning and hands-on activities. It is also essential to support learners in increasing their self-confidence and fostering a desire for autonomous learning through interactive classes and feedback.

Innovation in education has the power to promote change not only for individuals but for society as a whole. Flexible and comprehensive learning opportunities provided through technological advances and educational system reforms contribute to the development of individual independence and autonomy, and contribute to the realization of a more just and sustainable society. Education fosters independence and autonomy, allowing individuals to pursue self-growth and allowing society to achieve prosperous and sustainable development.

When thinking about the future of education, we must recognize the importance of STEAM education and do not forget the need for educational approaches that take the well-being of learners into consideration. Such education goes beyond the transfer of knowledge and the acquisition of skills, providing the foundation for learners to lead fulfilling lives as individuals and members of society. Educators, parents, and society as a whole need to work together to realize this goal.

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