INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Midland School District has begun implementing their new method of teaching, called STEAM.
The shift began last year when the administration decided to shift to a teaching style that forces students to think critically.
STEAM is an approach that uses science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics to guide students to critical thinking.
The district wants students to be able to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real-life scenarios and jobs.
They have chosen eight innovative teachers who have already implemented this method in their classrooms.
First-grade teacher Lindsey Murdock and second-grade teacher Nicole Norris both say their students love it.
"One of our main goals is, you know, we tell them what we're going to learn each day and for each lesson and then we'll tell them why we're going to learn it and what that can look like in real life," Murdock said.
"The real world connection is the key to making the kids care," Norris said. "If they're learning something and they don't think they're ever going to apply it then they are less interested and so when they can apply it to career connections, they're more invested. It's more student-led."
The curriculum offers more projects and interdisciplinary activities to show how subjects connect.
Even at such a young age, Norris said her students are already making those connections.
"I love to hear kids say I want to be that when I grow up," Norris said. "That means we're making connections and it matters to them."
Teachers had professional development with a representative from Discovery Education on Tuesday.
This training will be ongoing as the rest of the staff begins to change their teaching styles.