Full STEAM ahead, but who has the map? – A PRISMA systematic review on the incorporation of interdisciplinary learning into schools
Keywords:High school, Interdisciplinary, PRISMA systematic review, STEAM
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or "STEM" focused pedagogy has been influenced changes in education for decades. Responding to the need for interdisciplinary skilled workforces, the STEM approach has been revised firstly to reflect the incorporation of Arts, (STEAM) and, more recently, to place stronger emphasis on cross-disciplinary connections. However, there is little empirical evidence to drive the development of a practical model for classroom implementation. This systematic review aims to consolidate existing empirical evidence on the incorporation of interdisciplinary learning via a STEM/STEAM approach in high-school environments using a PRISMA review scaffolding. The review identified ninety-nine articles that addressed interdisciplinary learning. However, the majority of them were excluded due to the lack of empirical evidence for such improvements, resulting in only eleven studies being included in the final synthesis. This suggests that more research is required prior to wide-scale implementation within high school education systems. Of those that met the selection criteria, the overarching theme was that improved outcomes were best achieved via either a real-world project-based or problem-based learning pedagogy with the use of community and industry support. However, due to the low number of studies found to fit the criteria, it is recommended that further research is conducted to provide greater empirical evidence to support this finding.