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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The TEAM in STEAM

As we prepare for the final STEAM projects it's clear that the TEAM in STEAM is essential.

How do we best grow those TEAM skills and abilities with regard to student work?

When do we let students choose their teams and when do we give students the chance to work with others--students they might not choose at first?

I've never been a fan of tight roles with regard to team building; yet do those roles help to scaffold students' ability to develop apt teamwork skills and abilities?

How do we assess TEAM skills? What are the priority skills in this regard?

I want to pay more attention to the TEAM in STEAM.

I'll use the research on this page in the learning-to-learn website to start the investigation.

I'll also think carefully about the following factors that affect teamwork:
  • work, study, create spaces
  • expectations and explicit directions
  • time to establish team and get to know one another well.
Last year when we completed our endangered species study we worked a lot on establishing and building teams. Overall that study was successful and teams developed their teamwork skills over many weeks. Some classes chose a team approach to that project and others used more of an independent approach. 

This year both the STEAMwork and TEAMwork demanded new skills and thinking for many students. This provided a good learning stretch for students, but in thinking about some of the challenges, I realize we have to more explicitly and directly teach teamwork skills so that students are able to work together well when the work is challenging and open ended.


Note:
This MindShift article clearly outlines the import of the learning community.