The Art of Science Learning                                                         Report on Idea Harvesting OutcomesIntr...
In assessing the outcome of the first conference, we felt that this framework proved too restricting and,in view of the li...
Our methodology was to read through the transcripts from all the conferences, and pull out whatappeared promising; to deve...
PolicyThere were a wide variety of recommendations for changes in public policy at the local, regional andnational levels,...
o   Create multi-institutional structures to enable multiple parties to work together            o   Establish program tha...
   Cross-training for teaching artists / scientists            o    Teacher Education - training in interdisciplinary lea...
   Kitchen science       Building a house       Take art form like origami and explore its application to math, medicin...
Public AwarenessA strong theme was the need to raise the public awareness of the critical role of creativity in scienceedu...
   Create conferences and other interdisciplinary forums for integrating these perspectives (e.g.        TED)ResearchThe ...
   Develop transferable skills for collaboration, team-building – across content boundaries   Educate management to prom...
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Idea Harvesting Outcomes Report

  1. 1. The Art of Science Learning Report on Idea Harvesting OutcomesIntroductionThe Idea Harvesting sessions at the three 2011 Art of Science Learning conferences generated atremendous number of thoughts, concepts, principles, goals, objectives and ideas. Between the threeconferences (Washington, D.C.; Chicago; San Diego), almost 400 people participated. At eachconference, there were 10 to 12 Idea Harvesting groups working concurrently, each with 8 to 12 people.Each group spent slightly over an hour brainstorming, with the help of a volunteer facilitator.Notes and sketches made during the sessions were drawn on poster paper; after the conferences, thismaterial was transcribed; both original materials and transcriptions have now been posted to the Art ofScience Learning website at asked the participants in the Idea Harvesting sessions to come up with ideas that were:  Concrete  Specific  Actionable  E.g. projects and programs that could actually be implementedThis report attempts to cull the more concrete and implementable ideas from the transcripts; categorizeand merge them; and organize them in a way that reflects the range of ideas and suggests potentialfocal points for further discussion or action.Idea Harvest MethodologyIn the flow of the conferences, the Idea Harvesting sessions came right after the Metaphorming sessions,and built on the creative discussions that emerged from that hands-on and highly visual collaborativeideation process. However, we deliberately mixed up the composition of the groups between the twoexercises, so that the insights that came out of Metaphorming could be distributed throughout theattendees. We hoped to catalyze the emergence of different perspectives and new ways to build onthose insights.In the first conference in Washington, we provided the participants with a fairly complex framework,encouraging groups to use three different posters (and separate paper forms) to fill in the blank spaceson a matrix of topics: Educational Practice Research Workforce Ideas Challenges Recommendations
  2. 2. In assessing the outcome of the first conference, we felt that this framework proved too restricting and,in view of the limited time available for the exercise, too complex. Therefore, in the subsequent twoconferences, we shifted to a more open framework – participants were presented with a single posterlabeled “implementable ideas” with a large blank space surrounded by suggestions for topic categories:  Techniques?  Local?  Practice?  Projects?  State?  Research?  Programs?  National?  Workforce?  Policies?This framework was more easily explained and understood.All three sessions generated a significant number of ideas, thoughts, and concepts. The raw materialsfrom the sessions (the actual posters and transcriptions) document a rich and varied set of discussions,with a wonderful diversity of perspective.The format of the exercise allowed the individual groups wide latitude in laying the groundwork andapproaching the challenges in their own terms. What transpired can best be understood through theprism of the sequential steps outlined in the “Natural Planning Model” from David Allen’s Getting ThingsDone:1 1. Defining purpose and principles 2. Outcome visioning 3. Brainstorming 4. Organizing 5. Identifying next actionsMany of the groups decided, logically and naturally, to spend time on steps 1 and 2 before going to 3. Asa result, despite the request (strongly conveyed) by the conference organizers that the participantsconcentrate on brainstorming “implementable ideas” for possible future projects and programs, areview of the transcripts makes it clear that much of the thinking in the Idea Harvesting sessions waspreparatory to brainstorming. The material resulting from the “pre-brainstorming” reflects whatamounts to a terrifically open-ended extended focus group of people who were vitally concerned andwidely experienced with the core issues of our project. These discussions helped advance the broadercommunity-building agenda for the conferences and we intend to eventually go back to the record andmine that material in a future report.Report MethodologyIn this report, we focus on the “implementable ideas” as much as possible. There will, of course, be alarge dose of subjectivity in this exercise. There are thousands of line items in the session transcripts.We had to make thousands of judgments along the way about what is implementable; what are naturalcategories when there is synergy and overlap; what is a project or program versus a desired outcome.1
  3. 3. Our methodology was to read through the transcripts from all the conferences, and pull out whatappeared promising; to develop categories as we went, but modify them as the list grew; and to mergeideas wherever possible. We were tempted to quantify a bit, since some ideas obviously came up againand again, but in the end we felt that this was not a voting process; an idea might have just as muchpotential if only one person mentioned it. Nevertheless, we took note of themes which emergedfrequently.We were fairly inclusive and sympathetic about what constituted an “implementable idea”, not justbecause we wanted to be fair to the participants or because we’re constitutionally optimistic. In ourexperience, ideas at this point in the innovation process are often more like seeds which can bestrengthened and made more feasible (specific, concrete, fundable) by further discussion. Sometimes aseemingly small and seemingly impractical idea can morph into a slamdunk; sometimes the initial ideaevolves into something totally different along the way.Although we have often used mind-mapping for similar processes, this time we picked a basic linearoutline, because these are often easier to digest and discuss. Again, the structure and sequence are theresult of subjective judgments. Hopefully they will be logical enough to be relatively transparent.We also decided to interleave some commentary and extrapolation within the outline, to help jumpstartdiscussion and support ideas which were only barely described in the transcript.Community of PracticeMany conference participants experienced a strong reaction of connection and instant community, andexpressed a wish for continuing convening at the local, regional, and national level, and for some way toenable ongoing dialogue and knowledge sharing. The notes below are merged from multiplesuggestions in this area.  Create a national repository of people/groups who could mentor/model STEAM integration o Develop an external resource plan and asset base for schools / museums / community-based informal education groups  Web sites for communities of practice o Create online STEAM resource portal for teachers o Wiki site(s) to enable specific interests and knowledge sharing o Provide arts-based / AoSL tools and material to existing lesson plan websites  Develop network for museum / school relationships (long-term dialogue, collaboration) o Museums become “link” between educators (knowledge broker) o Develop technology-enabled relationships with a wide range of “content-rich organizations”  Use of 2.0 tech for group / individual dialogue (collaborative sites, Skype, etc.) o Use of interactive and other (online) teaching and learning technologies to level the playing field between have and have not schools / museums / communities  Create regional groups to work on art / science integration
  4. 4. PolicyThere were a wide variety of recommendations for changes in public policy at the local, regional andnational levels, including:  More national discussion about arts integration, creativity, innovation, etc. o Public awareness campaign (see public awareness ideas) o Create common basis of understanding in popular culture about art / science integration o Develop educational module for superintendents on arts / science value o Program to educate funders  Modify or reform testing agenda o Incorporate creativity index into common core standards o New methods of testing that are project / process / portfolio oriented o Use drawing/ painting / artistic interpretation as tools for assessment of understanding o Assessment system that places value on 21st century skills, mindsets, practices, not just content, learn from informal education youth development models o Shift in focus from knowing the right answer to being able to generate multiple answers, ask multiple questions o Test every two years, rather than every yearProgram Related IdeasThis was a category where it was hard to separate desired outcomes from a program designed toachieve that outcome. We erred on the side of being inclusive, so this is the largest category, but we feltthese were all potentially valuable concepts in the right context.  Program to teach and support museums, schools, art organizations, etc. to develop public- private and community partnerships (volunteers, curricula, funding) o Programs which teach the value and practice of developing community partnerships and ongoing mentoring support o Help to find STEM practitioners (companies) who might partner with them o Work with principals to understand value of community partnerships o Support more cross-disciplinary dialogue within schools, with community and business world o Start from community – community organizes itself to solve problems, then involves students o Create more opportunities for learners to do “real work” o Catalyze and support corporations doing art-science collab education programs ; identify and contact businesses about going into schools o Support and incentivize museums to be non-discipline-specific
  5. 5. o Create multi-institutional structures to enable multiple parties to work together o Establish program that systematically develops a needs assessment; identifies issues of common interest; maps assets (local / non-local); does match-making between organizations; creates communications channels; and sets up a hub-central source (network of partners)  Change the structure and incentives of teaching, curriculum development, staffing at informal education organizations to emphasize/assume collaboration: o Support “transdisciplinary” team work (group effort needs recognition) o Policies which support partnering teachers, artists, scientists to develop curricula o Work with administrations to understand value of collaboration o More instructional planning and work time o Ability for teachers from different subject areas to collaborate - time to plan, longer time blocks for students to work o Redefine the duty and role of the art teacher (creative consultant) o Artist / Scientist / Teacher Ambassadors –share techniques, exchange programs - artists into corporate but also scientists into art spaces and arts-education spaces  Specific national program ideas: o Link up with Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program o Develop proposal to create a “STEAM Academy” o Establish national STEAM resource center o Create an example of a STEAM school o Submit tangible proposal for DOE Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grant for STEAM "collaboratory" o Tag on to “School Building Week” (national program) to advocate for cross-disciplinary STEAM conceptsCross-Disciplinary ProgramsThere were, of course, many suggestions specific to the development of cross-disciplinary programs. Atthe core of the dialogue was the assumption that art/science/education projects result fromcollaborations between individuals with different backgrounds and viewpoints; that intersection is seenas the catalyst for creativity and innovation.  Art / science residencies o Long-term or visiting o Visiting or resident artists / scientists in pre-school o Grad / college students in classrooms o External partner collaborations
  6. 6.  Cross-training for teaching artists / scientists o Teacher Education - training in interdisciplinary learning. o Art and science teachers sharing / planning / co-teaching o "Chamber lunches" - working lunch / meeting /collaboration with artists / scientists / educators o "Happy Hour" with new restaurants – networking with business people as well  Using arts explicitly to help visualize STEM concepts o Using arts explicitly to reach various populations with STEM concepts  Developing games-based STEAM curriculum  Reimagining science fair projects -- bring art into it – STEAM fairs  Develop a primer / toolkit / educator training for cross-disciplinary AoSL project-based learning o A set of guidelines (e.g. LEEDs) o A certification program o A list of best practices o A new vocabulary to map between science and art o Common working vocabulary -- differences, similarity/overlap to identify common points of instruction and provide a common language for scientists and artists to communicate o Training teachers on how to facilitate innovation o Videoconferencing & introductions between artists and scientists o Art camp for professionals o Science camp for artists  Identify businesses that can go into schoolsNew Teaching ConceptsThese were a grab bag of interesting ideas for new ways to teach or new things to teach. It seemed lessuseful to try to organize them rigorously, although a number popped up multiple times.Specific art – science intersections:  Songwriting as math  Computer design and computer music programs  Use cell phones for internet and technology access  Visual literacy programs o Teaching data visualization / graphic organizing as a skill  Simulation projects
  7. 7.  Kitchen science  Building a house  Take art form like origami and explore its application to math, medicine, technology  Inherently open-ended and generative materials / objects  Theatrical pieces that explore or confront science topics  Combine art & neuroscienceIncreased involvement from family and the wider community:  Involve elders in classes and projects  Work on projects with student’s families  Craft interning and respect for craft / hands-on skills in curriculum  Apprenticeship programs, craftsmanship agency  Personal learning networks (reaching beyond school)  Project-based learning based on real-world problems  Select teaching themes which require artists / scientists / engineers viewpoint  Teach more engineering (closer to art) and design / product development o Design as purposed art o Product development to solve problems in the community (environment, local development, etc.) o Programs that build on design, architecture, partner with local orgs  Reverse engineer business problems with integrated curriculum  Leverage café / social settings (science café)  Incorporate scientists into museum floorSketchbooks and portfolios were a frequent theme:  Emphasize sketchbooks / journals as learning tools  Emphasize portfolios  More chance for students to demonstrate workParticipants referenced a number of existing innovations in teaching: o Object Based Learning (Smithsonian) o Community Based Learning (England) o OWL - open world learning o Story Based Learning
  8. 8. Public AwarenessA strong theme was the need to raise the public awareness of the critical role of creativity in scienceeducation, and of the value of both the arts and sciences in the context of what many perceived as thenarrowing focus of American education. A wide variety of suggestions were made to generate moreattention and to influence the thinking of parents, decision-makers, funders, administrators, businesspeople and kids themselves. This theme emerged as both a strategic imperative, and a tactic in lookingfor greater support for specific initiatives. Again, we’ve merged multiple examples of these suggestions:  Events, Festivals and Exhibits o Art of science festival(s) o "STEAM" salons o Cultural performances linked to science or enabled by science o Cross-disciplinary tie-ins to other exhibits (either art or science) o Artistic exhibitions focused on science learning e.g. museum, field guides  Art images / objects explained in scientific terms – science images explained in art vocabularies  Gallery exhibit of micro-science  Art gallery exhibit of astrophysical images (e.g. stellar evolution) o Science café – discussion / issues geared for young people at coffee shops  Media programs o E.g. documentary / cable series, web video series, publication series, comic strips, etc. o Profiling living scientists who are also artists o Profiling highly visible projects / products which have art / science components (e.g. Pirates FX, Apple products, etc.) o Profiling science projects with major art components and art projects with major science components o Leverage teen, pop and geek culture icons o Formats could be fictional, factional, different age levels, media formats, etc.  National advertising / PR campaign o National PSAs to parents (and decision makers) o Local PSAs celebrating local programs and initiatives  Branding campaign – a marketing initiative (e.g. Earth Day) o Programs around global perspectives, trends, problems o National program / day / concept (e.g. Sharks) explored by museums, schools, informal programs o Similar to Disney Planet challenge - environmental arts-science project o Viral "creativity awareness" campaign award - parents - kids- corporations-schools etc
  9. 9.  Create conferences and other interdisciplinary forums for integrating these perspectives (e.g. TED)ResearchThe Research Working Groups explored the topic of evidence for the efficacy of arts-based approaches toSTEM education in a focused and structured way; the research-related ideas that came out of the IdeaHarvesting sessions were somewhat more open-ended and ad hoc, of interest from a broader perspective.Participants suggested research related to:  Physical movement and how it affects learning  Links between learning and emotion, storytelling, narrative  Exploring new testing models, e.g. methods of testing that are process-driven and open (a la art)  Interdisciplinary learning theory and teaching practice  Effectiveness of cross-disciplinary and experiential practices, e.g. field trips  Characteristics of highly motivated, self-directed learners (“executive function”)  A taxonomy of creative integration strategies (e.g. depiction, metaphor, projection, formatting, mimicry)  The importance of relationships between teachers, students, and focal projects at different age levels  The impact of how teachers / facilitators talk to students about their work (e.g. descriptive not qualifiers)Participants also suggested:  Business scholars studying the arts in workforce  Investigating the relationships between current skills and 21st century skills in all disciplines  Development of a “creativity index” and methods of assessing creativity from K12 to workforce  A “landscape study” to point out people who are doing current best work in pedagogy  The design of learning research labs focused on creativity and cross-disciplinary learningWorkforce DevelopmentWorkforce development ideas were relatively less numerous, which largely reflects the background andinterests of the session participants, and suggesting that future dialogues might be designed to focusmore on this topic. Participants suggested workplace programs and policies that …  Encourage and support bi-directional mentorships – learn from others at earlier ages  Create generalists (and reward them)  Explore how to work with complementary and disparate knowledge and talents; how to infuse different expertise in common tasks
  10. 10.  Develop transferable skills for collaboration, team-building – across content boundaries Educate management to promote appreciation for value of mixed workforce competencies Make the art / science / creativity link with the economics of innovation