Instead of STEM or STEAM- Do d.TEAMSs

STEM:  Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics

STEAM: Science. Technology. Engineering. Arts. Mathematics

d.TEAMSs:   Design. Technology. Engineering. Arts. Mathematics. Science. social

What is d. TEAMSs?   In its rough written form, it is what our students should be doing, exposed to, challenged with everyday in today’s 21st Cent. world 🙂  It is the umbrella that houses these different areas of learning yet connects, interfaces, and are interdependent on each other in various ways during the learning process. (it is understood literacy & writing are not forgotten)

The major difference with STEM, STEAM, vs. d.TEAMSs is the collaborative nature, design & social aspects that STEM & STEAM do not stress (or at least call out with their acronym).  Design is not just DEEP design thinking.  As design thinking is an open approach to human-centered problem solving, the emphasis on clean, attractive, non-messy solutions are not its end product (although through iterations and continuous refining the end product has the possibility to be placed on the shelves of stores and such). Design has many paths, twists, and turns and in the K12 arena, I believe we are just scratching the surface of this idea of design and its capacity to infect our students’ learning.

  • Service design.
  • Graphic Design.
  • Design Thinking.
  • Brand Design.
  • Interaction Design.
  • Maker Movement.
  • Visual Design.
  • the list is endless.

Another aspect of d.TEAMSs is the Social piece.  As we move further from the old days of education (silos, four walls, paper and pencil, artificial learning setups) to “new” education (social media, authentic learning, student-centered, glocal, and collaboration), d.TEAMSs is bookended with the Social aspect that brings in the element of human needs and real-time impact and connectedness.

At the moment, this concept of d.TEAMSs resides in my head and it is a fun place to be let me tell you. I would love to figure out the ins and out of this concept with someone.  I am aware that a quick and easy thing to do is to give something a name, especially an acronym (after all once it’s named & easy to recall, well the rest is just gravy).  I think the strength of d.TEAMSs vs STEM/STEAM is its Collaborative nature, Design possibilities, and Social impact.  Some might view d.TEAMSs as renaming what already is going on, yet I think it is more of housing disciplines, re-prioritizing major needs for todays leaners, and positioning our students to be better problem solvers and doers.



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