The Impact of Design Thinking and Steam Learning on Student Engagement
Keywords:Design Thinking, Engagement, STEAM
Global opportunities in steam-related employment have contributed to the need for students to engage in developing skills of critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving. This need aligns well with Design Thinking, where students are encouraged to address big picture problem solving (Ideaco, 2013). Student engagement is strongly linked to achievement. It has long been the focus of educational researchers and is of increasing importance as educators grapple with preparing students for an emerging future (Fredricks et al., 2004). This research evaluates the impact of steam learning and Design Thinking on student engagement. The participants were a focus group of Year 4 students, plus students and teachers (Years 0–6), in a junior school environment. The findings of this project suggest that steam learning provides an excellent platform for students to use Design Thinking, be creative and feel successfully engaged in their learning. Furthermore, many students found collaboratively constructing learning in a personalised way using digital tools was very engaging.
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