Educate the Whole Student by Integrating STEM, Liberal Arts, and Social Responsibility
Synergies in Teaching and Learning
Welcome to Synergies in Teaching and Learning
Educational institutions frequently come up with mottos that reflect their missions and are easy to remember. I recall Columbia College Chicago's "create change"; and Ohio University's Russ College of Engineering and Technology "create for good". I spent time at both Institutions and I subscribe to "creating" both "change" and "good". As an educator, I strive to graduate engineers who “create for good” which, I believe, also entails the creation of "change". In my attempt to analyze “create for good” so I can build it in the daily interactions of teaching and learning with my students I started researching “how humans learn” and the “role of education”. Thus, I came upon Gardner's “Multiple Intelligences”, Gardner (1983), and “Five Minds for the Future”, Gardner (2009). These compelled me to create Synergies in Teaching and Learning (ST&L, Synergies Project, or Synergies). Synergies is a (teaching and learning project) framework that aims to educate the whole student by enabling the integration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) with liberal arts and social responsibility. Synergies enable different constituents to work together and deliver teaching and learning to students by creating (together) curricular, co-curricular, or ancillary learning activities. Constituents can be faculty from different programs/ colleges/ universities, as well as members from the community and industry. Finally, as I like to say, “from Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, to Gardner’s Five Minds for the Future, to Russ College’s ‘create for good’, Synergies enable learners to see real world problems with different view lenses, therefore, models to the learners the synergistic nature of problem solving”.
Synergies use vector analysis to analyze the components of “create for good” and study the interactions between STEM, liberal arts, and social responsibility; and uses narratives to describe the interactions. Synergies enable engineers, scientists, and technologists to see the importance of liberal arts and social responsibility in solving real world problems, including the ones of a technical nature; and enables people in humanities, arts, and social sciences to see the importance of the engineering methodology and scientific process in solving real world problems, including the ones of a social nature. Therefore, Synergies enable both peoples to view the World's problems by sharing their view lenses with each other.
Synergies Project Founder, Partner, and Team Leader
Renaissance Engineers Founder and Adviser
Universal University Deviser
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Gardner, H. (2009). The Five Minds for the Future. School Administrator, 66 (2), 16 – 20.