Over the past decade, we’ve seen a general increase in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education as well as making it more inclusive by supporting students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or emotional behavioral disorder (EBD). There are a number of tools and resources available for teachers for maximizing remote instruction to make sure that all students are given equitable opportunities in STEAM education. Teachers can ensure that all of their students are able to participate in remote STEAM instruction by intentionally looking at strategies and frameworks that cater to students with LD or EBD. —Jay Lingo
On top of that, learning structures have been expanded, adapting to different platforms of remote or face-to-face instruction each with a variety of instructional modes, including synchronous and asynchronous learning. These resources require a deliberate focus on framework and strategies.
STEAM and universal design for learning (UDL) frameworks go hand-in-hand to help ground practice to support all students. “There are seven tenets of STEAM integrated Framework (1) real-world context/authentic problem (2) science/content inquiry (3) mathematical problem-solving (4) engineered hands-on activity (5) incorporation of the arts (6) use of technology (7) general conclusion for the real world.” While “UDL can be applied as an overlay to existing curricula as a way to promote access to the content by reducing the barriers to learning,” the UDL framework is designed to provide teachers and students with support that encourages individualization of the teaching and learning process. It appears that STEAM and UDL frameworks are complementary and provide a solid foundation for STEAM education to students with LD or EBD regardless of environment or setting.
Scaffolded inquiry-based instruction finds more success for science and math learning outcomes. Using the three types of framing questions below will explicitly frame a topic to structure the discussion.
- Prelude – used to focus on a student’s previous knowledge as an advance organizer.
- Outline – visually represented questions and subquestions.
- Summary – concluding questions to connect concepts.
Students are first given the opportunity to manipulate concrete or physical objects to navigate a problem; they then progress to the representational stage, where they solve the problem by replacing those manipulatives with drawings on paper. Finally, they use the appropriate numbers, operational symbols, and notations based on the concept built from the previous stage.
These are visual supports that students can use to assist in organizing information to improve the understanding of content and concepts. It is often categorized by purpose: cause and effect, classifying, comparing and contrasting, describing, and sequencing. There are also multiple ways to access visual supports in remote instruction by using web-based programs such as Inspiration and Kidspiration, Mind Map, or Google Drawings where students can be guided whether in a synchronous or asynchronous setup.
Overall, with proper support and resources available, teachers can help ensure all of their students participate in remote STEAM instruction with the inclusion of strategies and a framework that caters to students with LD or EBD.
Taylor, J. C., & Hwang, J. (2021). Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics Remote Instruction for Students With Disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 10534512211001858.
Summary by: Jay Lingo – Jay believes the MARIO Framework is providing structure and common meaning to learning support programs across the globe. Backed up with current research on the best practices in inclusion and general education, we can reimagine education…together.
Researcher Jonté C. Taylor was involved in the final version of this summary.