The Collaborative is conducting a multi-year national research project to determine the most effective practices that promote vital workforce-related creative and innovative thinking skills at the intersections of the arts, STEM and the humanities (STEAM) in K-12 learning settings. This research is a broad national effort to begin developing a framework to provide a strong underpinning for the growing STEAM movement.
The Collaborative’s research includes classroom and teacher professional development studies, in addition to the development of educational materials. This project is aligned with the research being done by the Collaborative’s out-of-school-time research project, which represents museums, after-school programs and other out-of-school-time learning settings.
The K-12 Effective Practices Classroom Study Research Project is in its 4th phase. The K-12 classroom project first piloted its effective practices criteria and submissions process in 2015-16. At that time, 10 teachers whose submissions most effectively promoted the creative and innovative thinking skills were chosen as Innovation Fellows as part of the first round of research. The Fellows are now part of the Innovation Collaborative's planning team. Other Innovation Fellows will be chosen as the project progresses.
These first Innovation Fellows are:
Kerry Buchman, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles;
Ian Fogarty, Riverview High School, New Brunswick, Canada;
Ashley Lupfer, Rockingham Middle School, Richmond, NC;
Kimberly Olson, Centre School, Hampton, NH;
Ana Rozzi, Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, OR;
Juli Salzman, Northside Elementary, Angleton, TX;
Marica Shannon, Mitchell High School, Mitchell, SD;
Kathleen Sweet, Starmont Elementary, Arlington, IA;
Kristin Taylor, Sylmar Leadership Academy, Los Angeles.
During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, each Fellow, along with other selected teachers, conducted classroom implementation of other Fellows’ lessons and one of their own lessons to further develop a STEAM effective practices rubric and criteria that will be usable in classrooms. This classroom study is continuing in the 2018-19 school year. It is being conducted in concert with the NEA-funded teacher professional development study. Significant findings will be released.
The classroom study, inspired by the input of the Collaborative’s Research Thought Leaders, is led by Collaborative Board member Hope Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Interim Director of Assessment, College of Education and Human Services, University of North Florida. Dr. Wilson also is Chair of the National Association for Gifted Children, Research and Evaluation Network. Also leading the K-12 Project is Board member Amanda Upton, Manager, Nominations and Teacher Awards, National Science Teachers Association. They are joined by Collaborative Executive Director Lucinda Presley an extensive team of expert advisors from universities, and schools, in addition to the Innovation Fellows.