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Measuring social emotional learning as part of STEAM education for elementary level students in Turkey
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CitationAlaboudi, M., Kaplan, M., Sevimli, E. (2020). Measuring social emotional learning as part of STEAM education for elementary level students in Turkey. The Annual Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Miami, USA, 22-26 March 2020.
The Turkish education system has emphasized cognitive skills for a long time, but now a shift is being made towards the integration of soft skills following a global trend that calls for a wider array of skills and assessment models, beyond high-stakes testing in the fields of math, science, and reading. As an answer, many educators started implementing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) programs which require the development of several skills in teachers and students to succeed such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and not to mention collaboration, self-regulation, and empathy. The aim of this study is to explore what happens when educators purposefully integrate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to a STEAM matrix for soft skills development and assessment. This study follows an after school program that aims at teaching and assessing soft skills through a STEAM based curriculum to 3rd (N=96) and 4th (N=152) grade students (N=248 in total). This research is part of an ongoing project, which is carried out in partnership with the experts from the local municipality, the department of education and the university. Program outcomes as measured by SEL scale, its potential applications, and further research are discussed.