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Education Trends

The TEAMS Model: Unifying Arts, Academics, and Career and Technical Education

Author Jim Brazell reports on emerging TEAMS innovations around the country

August 6, 2010

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Jim Brazell, a technology forecaster, author, public speaker, and consultant. It is the second in a five-part series on the convergence of STEM education and the Arts (TEAMS).

TEAMS in Florida

"We are witnessing a new Renaissance," Bob explains, "where TEAMS work and disciplines are the key to Florida's creative enterprise from film to educational technology to medicine." On Friday, June 18, 2010, Bob Allen spoke to the Florida Association of Arts Education (FAAE) about the importance of integrating technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and science (TEAMS). To Bob, integration of STEM and the arts is a no brainer. Bob is the chief storytelling officer of IDEAS, an innovation studio that was spun out of Disney in Orlando.

Florida is a critical state in terms of TEAMS-based education because cultural and technical arts industries accounted for $28 billion dollars in revenue in 2007 with forecasted job growth exceeding biomedical and defense (as a percentage) between 2008 and 2018 (Harper, 2008). The arts are also viewed systemically in Florida across many STEM high technology industries.

TEAMS programs underway in Florida include: (1) the Florida High Tech Corridor Council techPATH program, (2) the Orlando Science Center's Otronicon video game initiative, (3) University of Central Florida's Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) and (4) coordination across Career and Technical Education (CTE) industry advisory boards for STEM, Information Technology (IT) and Arts, A/V Technology and Communications (ARTS).

Texas TEAMS Developments

On April 7, 2010, Texas Governor Rick Perry launched GameOn! Texas to discuss video games, film, new media and educational strategies for the state. Dr. Peter Raad from the Guildhall at Southern Methodist University (SMU) stated, "STEM and arts are two sides of the same coin."

Texas projects integrating STEM and the arts include: (1) spaceTEAMS, a P-20 STEM-ARTS-IT diversity initiative feeding San Antonio's emerging national cyberspace defense and hacker competition Cyber Patriot sponsored by the Air Force Association, (2) the Guildhall Academy and its masters program in game design and summer camp for K-12 game designers, (3) Spencer Zuzolo's Game Camp for middle, high and college students, (4) P-20 initiatives being staged by the Texas State Technical College System Associate Vice Chancellor of STE(A)M and (5) CTE-academic integration across all Texas high schools supported by the Texas Education Agency.

New York Embraces TEAMS

New Visions for Public Schools launched Quest to Learn in New York City. The sixth-to-twelfth grade school is designed around theories of engagement and learning embedded in the arts, play, games and creativity. In 2008, New York City launched a bold initiative to make career and technical education (CTE) innovation a city-wide priority.

CTE programs in New York City and the state are supported by an emphasis on the arts including standards that support arts inclusion, while the grand CTE experiment in the city redefines traditional "vocational education" and "general education" by integrating arts, academics and career education for all students in select schools.

A Quiet Revolution

What is common across Florida, Texas and New York is an emerging model that unifies arts, humanities and career and technical education (CTE) to redefine "general education" and the idea of a "well rounded student." The well rounded student of the 21st century is academically prepared and also able to put knowledge into action to solve real world problems and opportunities.

In these states, legacy general education is giving way to a quiet revolution. The revolution consists of technologies that once cost hundreds of millions of dollars now available for thousands and courageous teachers who dare ask: "What kind of world do you want to live in today and can you imagine and design it?" Stay tuned for Part 3 of 5 - A TEAMS Model School - Glendale, California's Clark STEM Magnet School.

Jim Brazell is a technology forecaster, author, public speaker, and consultant. In October of 2009, Jim's comments related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) were heard by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Jim speaks to 25-to-50 groups about change, shifts and innovation. His past speech engagements and workshops include audiences at the Innovation Creativity and Capital Institute, the Chautauqua Institute, National School Board Association, National Council on Workforce Education (NCWE), and the Community College Futures Assembly, IEEE, National Security Agency (ASTD), Air Education Training Command (AETC), Navy Learning Strategies Consortium, and the Bio Defense Summit among others.

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