Laura Frențescu Tordai, Full STEAM Ahead! Educație STEAM de la formal la nonformal

MediCult – Revista de mediere culturală II (2023)


This article provides an overview of the development of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education and nonformal education by taking a historical approach and providing specific examples of practices that aim to improve the educational experiences of students and prospective teachers. The origins of nonformal education can be traced back to Comenius, who advocated for learning to occur in close proximity to the environment in his Didactica Magna (1657). John Dewey subsequently endorsed the notion of education via experience. Reconstruction was prioritized in the post-war era, and STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—were endorsed by academic institutions, policymakers, and business leaders. Later on, STEM started to look unappealing, therefore combining it with the ARTS produced a more attractive STEAM curriculum. However, science education, in formal contexts, often takes up a small portion of people’s life (Falk & Dierking, 2010). For this reason, nonformal education may offer a way to extend learning outside of the classroom and a chance to develop new pedagogies.