Author: Haley Goldman, Kate, Yalowitz, Steven, Ph.D., and Wilcox, Erin, M.A
Publication Year: 2016
Media Type: Report
The Art of Science Learning Project (AoSL) is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded initiative, founded and directed by Harvey Seifter, that uses the arts to spark creativity in science education and the development of an innovative 21st century STEM workforce. This research was guided by three main hypotheses: (1) Arts-based innovation training, compared to traditional innovation training, improves an individuals creative thinking skills including critical thinking, divergent thinking, problem identification, convergent thinking and problem solving; (2) Arts-based innovation training, compared to traditional innovation training, increases individual collaborative behaviors within a team context; and (3) Arts-based innovation training, compared to traditional innovation training, enhances the novelty, impact and feasibility of team innovations. In order to test these hypotheses, the research study used a quasi-experimental design with a pre-test, post-test intact group design, including a control group for comparison purposes.
The Art of Science Learning Project (AoSL) is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded initiative, founded and directed by Harvey Seifter, that uses the arts to spark creativity in science education and the development of an innovative 21 st Century STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workforce. In 2007, Seifter, along with artist/scientist Todd Siler and choreographer Liz Lerman, led an NSF symposium on the relationship between the arts, STEM learning and workforce development. In 2008, Seifter and colleagues at New York’s Learning Worlds Institute held a series of roundtables with science educators, which revealed a broadly shared belief in the connection between the investigative nature of science and the arts, and an appreciation for the potential of arts-based learning to foster passion for exploration and discovery in young learners. These meetings played an important role in designing a proposal, which was subsequently funded by the National Science Foundation (DRL-0943769). In 2011, Phase 1 of the project convened 425 science educators, teaching artists, museum professionals, classroom teachers, business leaders, policymakers, and academic researchers in regional conferences at the Smithsonian Institution, Illinois Institute of Technology and California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). The goals were to explore the connection between the arts, innovation and economic competitiveness; create communities of practice by sharing educational resources, curricula, and best practices that use ABL to strengthen STEM learning; and experience first-hand arts-based educational techniques that develop critical and collaborative thinkers for the STEM workforce.
At the writing of this report the Art of Science Learning project is in Phase 2, funded by the NSF (DRL- 1224111) to develop a new arts-based STEM innovation curriculum for adolescent and adult learners; three year-long arts-based incubators for innovation in STEM learning and practice to test and refine the curriculum; a traveling art/science exhibition; and public programs that use the project’s activities and outcomes to advance civic engagement with STEM. Phase 2 also included research comparing the impact of arts-infused STEM innovation training with traditional project-based STEM innovation training, a multi-year research project that was independently carried out by Audience Viewpoints Consulting. This report contains the results of this Phase 2 research.
Arts & Intersections: Innovation
Categories: Technology and Innovation