Implementing steam education model in teaching geography – case study at Phan Van Tri high school, Can Tho city

Abstract This study has presented the results of applying STEAM education model in teaching Geography at Phan Van Tri High School, Can Tho City. The study relied on a mixed method in collecting, assessing and analyzing collected data. Specifically, literature review, fact finding and pedagogical experiment are three main methods which were used in this study. The research result has shown three main issues related to how to teaching Geography through STEAM education model. Firstly, teaching Geography through STEAM education model has based on four steps consisting of identifying the learning issues, setting plans, conducting plans and guiding students to experience in the locality, and assessing. Secondly, teaching Geography through this model has been helped learners to develop many competencies such as communicating and collaborating, using IT (Information Technology), solving problems and making creativity, learning natural and social issues. At the same time, the development of students' specific competencies is closely linked to each component of STEAM. Thirdly, through applying this education model in teaching Geography, some lessons learned were concluded so that it can help to apply this model in teaching Geography more effectively.

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IMPLEMENTING STEAM EDUCATION MODEL IN TEACHING GEOGRAPHY – CASE STUDY AT PHAN VAN TRI HIGH SCHOOL, CAN THO CITY Ho Thị Thu Ho1, Le Van Nhuong1, Trinh Chi Tham1, Nguyen thi Ngoc Phuc1 1 Department of Georaphy Education, School of Education, Can Tho University Abstract This study has presented the results of applying STEAM education model in teaching Geography at Phan Van Tri High School, Can Tho City. The study relied on a mixed method in collecting, assessing and analyzing collected data. Specifically, literature review, fact finding and pedagogical experiment are three main methods which were used in this study. The research result has shown three main issues related to how to teaching Geography through STEAM education model. Firstly, teaching Geography through STEAM education model has based on four steps consisting of identifying the learning issues, setting plans, conducting plans and guiding students to experience in the locality, and assessing. Secondly, teaching Geography through this model has been helped learners to develop many competencies such as communicating and collaborating, using IT (Information Technology), solving problems and making creativity, learning natural and social issues. At the same time, the development of students' specific competencies is closely linked to each component of STEAM. Thirdly, through applying this education model in teaching Geography, some lessons learned were concluded so that it can help to apply this model in teaching Geography more effectively. Keywords: STEAM education model; Teaching Geography; Competency development; Phan Văn Tri High School, Can Tho city. INTRODUCTION The innovation of teaching methods aims to develop student competence has been applied more popular in both global and Vietnamese education. One of the new education models was used to develop students' competence today is STEAM (STEAM education model). It is obvious that this model has popularly applied in developed countries such as the United States, Finland, South Korea, Japan... Especially, in teaching some subjects including Natural Sciences (Physic, Chemistry, Biology) or Geography, this model can be considered as one of most appropriate choices. So, what is the STEAM model? How can the STEAM education model applied in teaching? How does applying STEAM in teaching Geography help students to develop their competence? Are there any lessons of interest to consider when applying this model? These are questions that will be answered and discussed in detail through the content of the paper. RESEARCH METHODS AND SUBJECTS 2.1. Research methods: To accomplish the research purposes, some following research methods were applied: a. The methods of document study Applying this method was to study about the theoretical basis of STEAM education model as well as the application of STEAM model in teaching through books, newspapers, websites, documents from the Ministry of Education and Training... There is no doubt that this was an important theoretical basis for the authors to conduct this study. b. The methods of studying practical situation Before designing the STEAM education model in teaching Geography in high school, the researchers have studied current situation about the school in terms of facilities, conditions for implementing the STEAM model, teacher and student capacity which can support to carry out teaching plans based on STEAM education model in Geography. c. The method of pedagogy experiment The writers conducted pedagogy experiment on teaching plan that has apply the STEAM education model as mentioned above in high school. This aimed to verify as well as make valid assessments and authentic conclusions for the research. The information of the experiment was gathered through observations, questionnaires and in-depth interviews: + Observe all students’ attitudes, behaviors, interactions, and actions during the process that they are working in STEAM model. Especially, the authors have paid attention to all products that the students have done such as presentation by PowerPoint, poster, brochure from STEAM education model in teaching Geography. These learning products have demonstrated the development of learners’ specific competencies which were formed and improved during the process of learning in STEAM education model. + The questionnaire was used to survey 30 high school students in both before and after participating in STEAM education model. This enabled to record how students have formed and developed their competencies. + In-depth interview has carried out with 3 teachers and 6 students who directly participated in experiments. This task helped to record participants’ voice and perceptions towards applying STEAM in teaching and learning Geography. Besides, in-depth interview provided the authors with detail information about what are the teachers and students perspectives in this application and what suggestions do they have to help the STEAM model be maintained and implemented more effectively. 2.2. Research questions 1. How did teachers at Phan Van Tri High School, Can Tho City apply the STEAM education model in teaching Geography? 2. How the application of the STEAM education model helped to develop the students’ competencies? 3. Are there any lessons of interest which should be learned in this application? 2.3. Research subject The research subject of the study was the application of STEAM education model in teaching Geography; the research object is the teacher and student (grade 10) of Phan Van Tri High School, Can Tho City. 2.4. Research time and place a. Research time length The study was conducted in the 2018-2019 school year b. Research space The study was conducted at Phan Van Tri High School, Phong Dien District, Can Tho City. This school is located on the outskirts of the city, so students are considered not too good compared with other students studying in the center of Can Tho City (According to entrance criteria for grade 10). The authors have chosen this school for the research as this is a non-special school that is popular among many schools in the Mekong Delta region. So the experiment was conducted through the application of STEAM model in teaching Geography at this school. Thereby, it is hoped that the research can support to conclude meaningful lessons for the application of the STEAM model in teaching Geography, especially in teaching Geography at the Mekong Delta region. 3. LITERATURE REVIEW ABOUT STEAM MODEL AND THE APPLICATION OF STEAM MODEL IN TEACHING 3.1 STEAM education model The STEAM education model was first developed in the United States in the late 90s of the twentieth century, then it has popularized in many other countries in Europe and Asia. At first, this was a STEM education model (without the letter A - the art field: Art), later many educators transformed the letter A into a STEAM education model. What is the STEM or STEAM education model? This will be discussed in detail as below: * The education model of STEM STEM is an acronym of the words Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic. STEM IS A NEW TEACHING TREND WHICH HELPS TEACHERS AND STUDENTS TO APPLY THE KNOWLEDGE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATIC IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING ASSOCIATED WITH REAL LIFE. THIS EDUCATION TREND CAN HELP LEARNERS TO DEVELOP DIFFERENT COMPETENCIES AS WELL AS SUPPORT TO CREATE HUMAN RESOURCES THAT MEET SOCIAL NEEDS (NGUYEN THANH HAI, 2017). * THE EDUCATION MODEL OF STEAM STEAM IS ORIGIONALLY STEM EDUCATION MODEL THAT INCORPORATES THE LETTER A, WHICH STANDS FOR ART. THE LETTER A HERE IS NOT MERELY ART BUT ALSO UNDERSTANDS THE FIELDS OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES. ACCORDING TO JENNIFER GUNN (2017), STEAM IS AN INTERDISCIPLINARY INTEGRATED EDUCATION MODEL. THIS IS STEM EDUCATION, BUT IT IS A COMBINATION OF STEM AND ART IN ORDER TO MAKE THE LINK AMONGST SUBJECTS MORE EFFECTIVELY. SO IN THIS EDUCATION MODEL, THE STUDENTS CAN BE DEVELOPED MORE COMPREHENSIVE SKILLS. ESPECIALLY, THE STUDENTS’ CREATIVITY AND HUMANITY WILL BE BETTER TRAINED WHEN THEY ARE ASKED TO PERFORMCE IN REAL LIFE TASKS. IN THIS STUDY, THE STEAM EDUCATION MODEL IS UNDERSTOOD AS AN INTEGRATED EDUCATION MODEL IN WHICH TEACHERS HELP THEIR LEARNERS TO INTEGRATE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS IN THE FIELDS OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART AND MATHEMATIC SO THAT THE LEARNERS CAN CARRY OUT AN ACADEMIC TASK IN REAL LIFE SITUATION. THIS HELPS THE LEARNERS TO FORM AND DEVELOP MANY DIFFERENT COMPETENCIES, ESPECIALLY SPECIAL COMPETENCIES. IN THIS PAPER, THE WORD OF "STEAM EDUCATION MODEL" IS SOMETIMES ABBREVIATED AS "STEAM MODEL" OR "STEAM EDUCATION" OR "STEAM" AND HAS THE SAME MEANING AS "STEAM EDUCATION MODEL". * EXPLAIN EACH COMPONENT IN STEAM EDUCATION MODEL THAT HAS STUDIED IN THE RESEARCH: S (SCIENCE): A LEARNER WHO USES KNOWLEDGE OF DIFFERENT FIELDS SUCH AS PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, BIOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY... TO COMPLETE A TASK OR CREATE A PRODUCT. IT CAN ALSO BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE LEARNING PRODUCT REPRESENTS CONTENT OR A SCIENTIFIC ISSUE IN REAL LIFE. T (TECHNOLOGY): LEARNER USES CERTAIN MATERIALS, TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES TO MAKE SUCH LEARNING PRODUCTS. E (ENGINEERING): THIS IS A DESIGN, STRUCTURE AND ARRANGEMENT OF ELEMENTS AND PARTS TO BUILD THE SHAPE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PRODUCTS. A (ART): THIS IS THE USE OF ART; MUSIC; LANGUAGE; POETRY; KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIELDS OF PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIAL SCIENCE, HUMANITIES... WHICH HAS SHOWN IN THE LEARNING PRODUCT. M (MATHEMATIC): THIS IS TO USE NUMBERS, ALGEBRA, GEOMETRY, CALCULATIONS, TRIGONOMETRY, RATIOS, MEASUREMENTS... TO BUILD AND CREATE LEARNING PRODUCTS. So it can be summarized that STEAM is a model of Science and Technology interpreted through Engineering and Art, all based on Mathematic. The application of STEAM education model in any situation must have specific academic products (www.STEAMedu.com, https://steamedu.com/pyramidhistory/, 2006-2018; Georgette Yakman, 2008). 3.2 Applying STEAM in teaching * OBJECTS CAN BE APPLIED STEAM EDUCATION MODEL CAN BE APPLIED FROM KINDERGARTEN TO UNIVERSITY LEVEL DEPENDING ON THE DIFFERENT CONDITIONS AND FIELDS. THIS MEANS THAT TEACHERS SHOULD HAVE DIFFERENT WAYS TO IMPLEMENT AS IT DEPENDS ON PROGRAM, PLAN, ORGANIZATION AND ASSESSMENT (NGUYEN THANH HAI, 2017; JENNIFER GUNN, 2017). * MEASURES TO IMPLEMENT STEAM EDUCATION MODEL IN TEACHING THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO IMPLEMENT STEAM EDUCATION MODEL IN TEACHING SUCH AS TEACHING PRACTICE BY PROCESS; EXPERIMENT; PROJECT-BASED TEACHING; WEBQUEST TEACHING - ONLINE DISCOVERY; GROUP WORKING; RESEARCH-BASED TEACHING... (MASSIMO AMADIO, 2015; NGUYEN THANH HAI, 2017). * IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS DIFFERENT AUTHORS HAVE THEIR OWN STEPS IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT STEM OR STEAM EDUCATION MODEL INCLUDING 4 STEPS, 5 STEPS, 6 STEPS OR 10 STEPS. ACCORDING TO SARA DELANO MOORE (2014), THE STEM / STEAM MODEL CAN BE IMPLEMENTED THROUGH 5 STEPS: STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE LEARNING ISSUE/PROBLEM STEP 2: SET UP A PLAN STEP 3: BUILD/DESIGN PRODUCTS (IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN) STEP 4: TEST THE COMPLETED PRODUCT STEP 5: PRESENT, ASSESS AND REDESIGN (IF NECESSARY) BASED ON THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTING STEAM MODEL FROM MANY SOURCES AND PRACTICAL CONDITIONS AT PHAN VAN TRI HIGH SCHOOL, THE AUTHORS HAVE CONDUCTED STEAM EDUCATION MODEL THROUGH PROJECT-BASED TEACHING WITH 4 STEPS AS FOLLOWS: STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE LEARNING ISSUE/CONTENT + TEACHERS CONDUCT FIELD TRIP TO IDENTIFY LEARNING ISSUES THAT NEED FOR STUDENTS TO STUDY AS WELL AS DETERMINE THE FORM OF LEARNING. + TEACHERS CHOOSE PRACTICAL LEARNING ISSUES/CONTENT FOR STUDENTS TO IMPLEMENT OR THE TEACHERS CAN GUIDE STUDENTS TO CHOOSE. STEP 2: SET UP THE PLAN + TEACHER/TEACHERS SET UP THE PLAN. + TEACHER SENDS THE PLAN TO THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND STUDENT'S PARENTS BEFORE IMPLEMENTING THE PROJECT (IF NECESSARY). STEP 3: CONDUCT THE PLAN AND GUIDE STUDENTS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROJECT + DEPLOY THE PLAN WITH STUDENTS + INSTRUCT STUDENTS ON PRACTICAL SKILLS + STUDENTS PERFORM, TEACHERS FOLLOW UP TO SUPPORT (DO NOT REPLACE STUDENTS TO DO) STEP 4: PRESENT, ASSESS AND SUMMARIZE THE SITUATION + TEACHER ORGANIZES AN EXTRA-CURRICULAR SESSION FOR STUDENTS TO PRESENT THE PROJECT RESULTS. + TEACHER ENCOURAGES AND SUPPORTS THEIR STUDENTS TO DISCUSS, ASK, SHARE AND COMMENT ON ISSUES SO THAT THEY CAN OBTAIN THOROUGH KNOWLEDGE. + TEACHER COMMENT SPECIFICALLY ON THE STUDENT'S IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS AS WELL AS PROJECT RESULTS. + TEACHER SUMMARIZE AND CONNECT LEARNING CONTENT WITH WHAT THEY HAVE LEARNED IN THE LOCALITY IN ORDER TO HELP THEM BETTER UNDERSTAND THE LESSON. + IF IT IS A BIG AND IMPORTANT PROJECT RELATED TO LOCAL REALITY, IT SHOULD INVITE THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS, OTHER TEACHERS, THE STUDENT PARRENT, LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND LOCAL COMMUNITY TO ATTEND. IT IS BETTER IF THOSE PEOPLE CAN JOIN AND ASSESS THE PROJECT RESULTS. * ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES ACCORDING TO STEAM EDUCATIONAL MODEL THE STEAM EDUCATIONAL MODEL AIMS TO DEVELOP STUDENTS’ DIFFERENT COMPETENCIES, SO THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT IN ASSESSMENT IS TO FULLY REFLECT BOTH PROCESS AND RESULTS OF THEIR WORK. THE COMPETENCIES THAT ARE EMPHASIZED IN STEAM EDUCATION MODEL INCLUDE TEAMWORK, COMMUNICATION, PROBLEM SOLVING AND SOME OTHER SPECIFIC COMPETENCIES. COMPETENCE IS EXPRESSED THROUGH A SET OF ACTIVITIES, EACH OF WHICH IS CONSIDERED AS AN IDENTIFICATION MARK TO ASSESS THE DEVELOPMENT OF THAT COMPETENCE. BASED ON THE CHARACTERISTIC MANIFESTATIONS (STUDENT'S PERFORMANCE) OF EACH COMPETENCY, TEACHERS CAN DESIGN APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA. IT IS STRESSED THAT THE SCORE RATIO OF THE MANIFESTATIONS MAY VARY AND DEPENDS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES. A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THE ASSESSMENT IN THE STEAM IS THAT IT ALWAYS COMBINES COMMENTS AND SCORES. THROUGH THE COMMENTS, THE STUDENTS CAN RECOGNIZE THEIR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNES AS WELL AS GOOD AND BAD POINT SO THAT IT CAN LET THEM ADJUST AND IMPROVE THEMSELVES DURING THE LEARNING PROCESS. STUDENTS' LEARNING RESULT IS NOT NECESSARILY A PERFECT PRODUCT AS IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAT THEY CAN BE IMPROVED IN THEIR LEARNING PROCESS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE STUDENTS SHOULD ACTIVELY WORK IN GROUP SO THAT THEY CAN CREATE NEW LEARNING PRODUCTS EFFECTIVELY. IT IS ALSO THE GOAL THAT NEEDS TO BE DIRECTED TOWARDS TEACHING IN THE STEAM EDUCATION MODEL. 3.3 APPLYING STEAM EDUCATION MODEL IN TEACHING HELPS TO DEVELOP STUDENT COMPETENCIES COMPETENCE IN THIS PAPER CAN BE UNDERSTOOD AS "THE INTEGRATION OF KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ATTITUDES THAT AN INDIVIDUAL NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO USE IN COMBINATION TO SOLVE AN ACADEMIC OR LIFE PROBLEM" (SINGAPORE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, 2012). APPLYING STEAM IN TEACHING HELPS STUDENTS TO DEVELOP MANY DIFFERENT COMPETENCIES AS IT CAN BE CONSIDERED AS INTEGRATED TEACHING MODEL. THIS INTEGRATED TEACHING MODEL ENHANCES THE LEARNERS TO SYNTHESIZE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS FROM MANY DIFFERENT FIELDS SO THAT THEY CAN SOLVE A PROBLEM IN LIFE. THIS LEARNING STYLE CAN HELP TO FORM AND DEVELOP STUDENTS’ DIFFERENT COMPETENCIES AND QUALITIES (DO HUONG TRA, 2015). THE TYPICAL COMPETENCIES THAT LEARNERS CAN BE FORMED AND IMPROVED THROUGH THE STEAM EDUCATION MODEL ARE COMMUNICATING AND COLLABORATING, USING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, SOLVING PROBLEMS AND CREATIVITY, STUDYING NATURAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES. IN ADDITION, THERE ARE MANY OTHER COMPETENCIES INCLUDING CALCULATION, AESTHETICS... CAN ALSO BE DEVELOPED (GEORGETTE YAKMAN, 2008; JENNIFER GUNN, 2017). IN IMPLEMENTING STEAM EDUCATION MODEL IN THIS STUDY, IT IS HOPED THAT THE STUDENTS CAN FORM AND DEVELOP THEIR COMPETENCIES UNDER THE NEW GENERAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAM ISSUED BY THE VIETNAMESE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING. 3.4 IMPLEMENTING GEOGRAPHY TEACHING BASED ON STEAM IN THIS STUDY STUDENTS WILL BE LEARNED ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE LOCALITY. THE LOCALITY IN THIS CASE IS PHONG DIEN DISTRICT (CAN THO CITY) WHERE PHAN VAN TRI HIGH SCHOOL IS LOCATED. PHONG DIEN IS A DISTRICT OF CAN THO CITY ALONG THE CAI RANG RIVER - A TRIBUTARY OF THE HAU RIVER, WHICH IS INUNDATED DURING THE RAINY SEASON, POLLUTED BY WATER SOURCES. ADDITIONALLY, THERE ARE MANY PARTS OF THE RIVER WHERE HAVE BEEN ERODED. SO PHONG DIEN IS A PLACE WHERE THE STUDENTS CAN LEARN ABOUT THE CLIMATE CHANGE BASED ON THE STEAM ACTIVITIES THROUGH CONDUCTING PROJECT. THIS EXPLAINS WHY THE AUTHORS HAVE CHOSEN PHAN VAN TRI HIGH SCHOOL, LOCATED IN PHONG DIEN DISTRICT TO CONDUCT STEAM EDUCATION MODEL EXPERIMENT. IT IS BELIEVED THAT DUE TO THIS PRACTICAL LEARNING THROUGH STEAM THE STUDENTS CAN LEARN FURTHER ABOUT LOCAL CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT CHANGE. SPECIFICALLY, THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE ISSUE IN THIS STUDY INCLUDES WATER POLLUTION, FLOODING AND RIVER BANK’S EROSION IN PHONG DIEN DISTRICT, CAN THO CITY. THE CONTENTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ARE INCLUDED IN GRADE 10 PROGRAM ACCORDING TO THE CURRENT TEXTBOOK. IN PARTICULAR, IT IS IN LESSON 41: "ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES" AND LESSON 42: "ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT". THE STEAM MODEL IN THIS STUDY IS NOT ONLY IMPLEMENTED IN 2 CLASS PERIODS OF THESE 2 LESSONS. IN OTHER WORDS, TEACHER HAS CARRIED OUT THESE TWO LESSONS IN THE CLASS AS NORMAL, THEN THEY APPLIED THE STEAM MODEL TO TEACH THESE TWO CONTENTS THROUGH PROJECT AS AN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THIS TEACHING FORM HELPS THE STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN EXPERIENTIAL ACTIVITIES TO UNDERSTAND FURTHER THEIR LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND NATURAL RESOURCES. AT THE SAME TIME, THROUGH EXPERIENCING PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES IN THE LOCALITY BASED ON STEAM, THE STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO FORM AND DEVELOP A LOT OF IMPORTANT AND MEANINGFUL COMPETENCIES IN REAL LIFE FOR BOT THEMSELVES AND COMMUNITY. 4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 4.1 How to apply the STEAM education model in teaching Geography? The application of the STEAM education model in teaching Geography in this research is conducted through 4 below steps: - Step 1: Determine the learning content and working form Before allowing students to learn Geography in the STEAM education model, the authors and teachers at Phan Van Tri High School conducted a field trip in order to study about environmental changes in Phong Dien District, especially focusing on some places near this school. This helps the teachers to identify which issues of climate change can be learned and experienced appropriately and conveniently. Next, the researchers have learned specifically about the experience activities that the teachers at Phan Van Tri High School has done as well as discuss with the school administrators, other teachers and students. Those tasks have supported the authors to garther necessary information before setting up a plan for STEAM education model in this study. The survey results helped the authors to identify three main issues for students to learn about environmental change including water pollution; inundation; river bank’s erosion in Phong Dien District. Specifically, the researchers organized for the students to implement experiential extracurricular project in STEAM which have helped the learners to study three those issues effectively. - Step 2: Set up the plan After studying real situation in the locality as well as identifying the learning content and form under STEAM, the authors has built a plan to implement this teaching model. The plan is summarized as follows: The plan was organized for 30 students in grade 10 to participate in learning about local environmental change with three specific topics consisting of water environment pollution; inundation; and river erosion. Students were divided into six groups with five students in each group. Three teachers have participated in the instruction, so each teacher managed two of six groups. Each group need to study/research about learning issues, design learning products as well as present learning result by themselves on selected topic according to the experimental activities guided by the teachers. The learning results can be pre