Dialogic Educational Practices in STEAM Non-Formal Contexts of Education in Monterrey, Mexico
Ching Chiang, Lay-Wah Carolina
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While STEM education is seen as a universal driving force for global economic development, there is also a complex nexus with social, political, and cultural inequalities, with gender issues, and with the education of Indigenous populations. The visible signs of these gaps are inequalities and increased marginality within a society and between societies. On many occasions, STEAM pedagogy, even with the recent inclusion of Arts in the formula, has fallen short in its promise of building knowledge located in real contexts of application, as well as in its capacity to transform the learning trajectories of the participants. As an alternative, the implementation of a dialogic perspective on learning processes in interactive experiences in STEAM projects could genuinely allow participants to reflect on their contributions at the local and global level. This research project has a clear objective to contribute to the reduction of marginality in Mexico and improve inclusion through the implementation of dialogic scientific-technological education for technical vocational students in marginalized situations. Thus, contribute to the plan of the United Nations General Assembly (2015) through SDG 4, quality education. To accomplish that research question leading this study is: To what extent dialogic educational practices in STEAM sessions have an impact in the critical thinking skills of participants of non-formal contexts of education? To answer the question a pilot study was done with families in a marginalized community in Monterrey, Mexico. The main study was done in the framework of the High STEAM project with 3 CBTIS and 3 CETIS in Monterrey. The participants were 124 high school students, 10 high school teachers and 19 high school students participated. The main study research implemented a mixed method study with a convergent parallel design. Even though the quantitative results did not proof a significant impact of the STEAM sessions, the qualitative results showed that the value of dialogic practices from a Latin American perspective is that they have a clear emphasis on social participation and reflect a sense of social justice in which dialogue is capable of transforming people’s realities. A clear contribution from the dialogic educational practices in STEAM non-formal contexts is the purposeful design of educational experiences that combine the STEAM approach with the dialogic educational practices. Moreover, accompaniment showed to be a key foundation for the dialogic STEAM sessions. It is extremely important to observe the socioeconomic reality of the region to generate a reflection on educational practice. A clear contribution to the knowledge of and from the region is that can inform and influence policies as well as interventions in educational systems and institutions in Latin America by creating purposefully designed educational experiences based on accompaniment.