Is it Arts Integration or STEAM?

By | 2016-11-22T09:44:00+00:00 November 30th, 2016|

One of the questions we are most frequently asked is if a lesson is using an arts integration or STEAM approach.  It can certainly be a challenge to figure out the difference, especially when the terms are used almost interchangeably.

Yet there are some distinctions between arts integration and STEAM, and knowing them will help you take a huge step forward in creating and implementing the best approach in your classroom.  Today, I’m sharing a free download of the similarities and differences to help you get crystal clear on when to use each in your lessons.  And if you’re looking for ideas on how to make this work, check out our Arts Integration and STEAM online conference.  It’s a completely online event and you’ll receive 10 PD hours for participating!

Your Guide to Arts Integration and STEAM

Arts enhancement, arts integration, and STEAM…where to begin?  Each of these approaches are valid for different purposes in your classroom.  It’s just a matter of determining which one is right for your lesson intention.  Here’s a one-page downloadable guide for you to print and use as a handy reference as you go into your planning.




Feature alert!

Sometimes, when it comes to lessons, it’s easier when someone is walking along with you and bouncing around some new ideas.  That’s why we’re starting a new segment on the smART Ideas video series called “Lesson Builder” and we want you to be a part of it.  If you have a lesson plan that you’d like us to review and then provide suggestions for ways to integrate the arts, or if you have an Arts Integration and/or STEAM lesson that you’d like to share as a model, please complete the form below.  We’ll select a sample lesson at least once a month and provide suggestions, highlight best practices and showcase your amazing work.

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Susan Riley is the founder and President of She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.

Email Susan

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