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Branches from the Same Tree: An Overview of the National Academies Study on the Integration of the Arts and Humanities with Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education

Presented by
Dr. Ashley Bear, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

This session will provide attendees with an overview of the National Academies study: Branches from the Same Tree. This study examined an important trend in higher education: integration of the humanities and arts with sciences, engineering, and medicine at the undergraduate and graduate level which proponents argue will better prepare students for work, life, and citizenship. Integrative models intentionally seek to bridge the knowledge, modes of inquiry, and pedagogies from multiple disciplines -- the humanities, arts, sciences, engineering, technology, mathematics, and medicine -- within the context of a single course or program of study. This movement in higher education raises an important question: what impact do these curricular approaches have on students? To address this question, the National Academies formed a committee to examine the evidence behind the assertion that educational programs that mutually integrate learning experiences in the humanities and arts with science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) lead to improved educational and career outcomes for undergraduate and graduate students. The committee conducted an in-depth review and analysis of the state of knowledge on the impact of integrative approaches on students.