This article suggests the value in a broad view of STEAM beyond arts-integration, as well as the potential of design thinking for STEAM. Despite much interest in STEAM it is often challenging for many teachers to integrate into their teaching of school subject matter. I suggest that as an interdisciplinary crossroads, design thinking provides a natural bridge between the arts, sciences, and other subjects. In this it can offer guiding flexible structure and in-road for teachers to design STEAM-based lessons, and to incorporate as an integrated aspect of students’ STEAM learning. I discuss an example of an elementary Spanish teacher, who, as a student in a graduate-level design thinking and education course, used design thinking to design an interdisciplinary STEAM project for her students. This example illustrates how design thinking can guide teachers’ STEAM curriculum design, and be interwoven into elements of STEAM curricula, to open up more interdisciplinary, creative and project-based opportunities.

Author/Artist Bio

Dr. Danah Henriksen is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University. Her research interests focus on creativity, thinking skills and design thinking for education. Her work and research has been published in peer-reviewed educational journals such as Teachers College Record, Educational Technology, and Tech Trends, as well as practitioner venues such as Educational Leadership and Art Education Journal. She is Co-Chair of the Creativity SIG for the Society of Information Technology in Education. Danah teaches varied courses in the area of educational psychology, systems change and leadership, design thinking and creativity in educational settings.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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