A reader asks :why CSTEAM, Why Scott Andersen.”

This blog has been around for six years now. My other blog is about 4 years older (started in late 2004). Before that I posted articles and blogs to the Microsoft blog site but those don’t really count. Most of those posts have been taken down for many years.

I got an email over the weekend that was intriguing. It was the first email I’ve gotten where the person asked me the why of what I was writing. Capital big letter’s WHY are you writing something. Not what’s your goal? But Why did you write it. At first I pointed him back to my original post on the concept of CSTEAM but he came back with the following question “why did you add connection to the STEAM education process?”

First off I was a school teacher frankly what seems a lifetime ago. I taught differently than my peers did which won awards but also often got me in trouble. The difference being I don’t believe in traditional roles or expectations. Based on that belief I founded an international teaching society many years ago to talk about ways we could consider and change education for the better, for all. The Society of Dead Teachers as it was later named was formed based loosely on the concepts shared in the movie “The Dead Poet’s Society.” That it was ok to present things differently.

There were few in person meetings of what later became DTS (due to internet and bitnet limits we had to have a smaller name). Certainly we had a few meetings over the years. I took to the disconnected teachers what the connected teachers were talking about and vice versa. In the end however the DTS became an online society.

Reason one for adding connection to education – I’ve done it before and in the end it is a good way to get things moving.

The second reason is reality. It is really hard to be a teacher. You have to connect with and build lessons for a variety of learning styles, learning rates and finally learning levels. We don’t actually stack rank children (and I do not advocate that process) before they enter school. So an elementary and middle school teacher may have to cover a lot of ground

Connected Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics lessons simply reduces one requirement for teachers. They can start with already completed lesson plans for CSTEAM activities.  The other value proposition is that their students have a place to share what they have discovered. That in the end was the point of the Dead Teachers Society – a place to share ideas.

So to answer the “why csteam,” “why me?” question it is what I have been talking about for more than 30 years. Connection becomes not only a point of reference but also a point of sharing and growing.

.doc

IASA Fellow