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Article in European Journal of STEM Education | 1 Dec 2021

Caradt Researcher Sarah Lugthart has just published an article with the European Journal of STEM Education. The article, titled; Simulating Professional Practice in STEAM Education: A Case Study (co-authored by Michel van Dartel) can be found here.arrow

About The European Journal of STEM Education

The European Journal of STEM Education publishes original research related to STEM Education. The international journal contributes to a scholarly understanding of teaching and learning practices and policies in the area of STEM, as well as to the improvement of educational practices.


About the article

Situated learning could benefit STEAM education* because both aim to develop skills that can deal with complex real-life situations. Although ample research has been conducted into situated learning within higher vocational education in general, there exists little research on the implementation of the educational approach in STEAM education specifically. To gain insight into what is needed for this implementation, a case study of a situational simulation was conducted within a STEAM education context, in which we observed students in simulating media design studios. We observed the setup, working and evaluation phases of the simulation and analyze the data this yielded – setup surveys, studio agreements, feedback forms, individual reflections and concluding surveys – based on three core features of situated learning: community of practice, participation and authentic context. Based on this analysis, we conclude that our study confirms the potential of situated learning for STEAM education. Our case study also suggests four guidelines for, as well as one challenge in, the implementation of situated learning in STEAM education. These guidelines and challenge are 1.) to actively facilitate quality feedback between students within a situational simulation; 2.) to promote taking various professional roles within the simulation, 3.) to provide situational-specific scaffolding based on the determination of which skills and information should be offered by tutors and which skills and information students already possess or are best left to develop and find by themselves; and 4.) to gain insight into individual learning goals for the benefit of the cognitive realism of the simulation; while 5.) the absence of real financial or commercial consequences compromises the authenticity of a situational simulation and, consequently, challenges the implementation of situated learning in STEAM education.

This article belongs to the Special Issue STEM & Arts Educationarrow

*STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking

‘I’m interested in how we can implement situated learning within design education.’

Sarah Lugthart develops ethnographic methods to study immersive XR experiences and explores storytelling as a joint future-creation tool at Caradt. As a PhD candidate at the University of Porto, she blends theory and practice in immersive learning, contributing significantly to digital media and education.

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‘People are the product of their relationships with their environment. It’s important to understand how technological developments influence these relationships.’

Michel van Dartel is Research Professor Situated Art and Design at the Avans Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology (Caradt) and Director of V2_Lab for the Unstable Media.

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Research Group: Situated Art and Design

Living in cities developed around data and acting within the inscrutable structure of our techno-society demands art and design that can help understand how we relate to these rapidly changing surroundings and to reflect on that relationship. The research group Situated Art and Design responds to this exigency by fostering a situated turn in art and design through a diverse portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects in partnership with academic and cultural partners, as well as with government and industry.

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