COLLABORATIVE DIVERGENCE: Analyzing the Integration of STEM and Visual Arts Curricula Through Divergent Thinking

Open Access
Picard, Claire
Area of Honors:
Art Education
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Aaron Knochel, Thesis Supervisor
  • Aaron Knochel, Honors Advisor
  • Christopher M Schulte, Faculty Reader
  • Art Education
  • Art
  • Education
  • STEM
  • Integrative Classroom
Students who have the ability to engage with others and approach ambiguity with confidence and originality have the potential to create lasting and positive change. This study explores how the peer social culture fostered in a visual arts classroom coupled with a problem-solving based science, technology, engineering, art, math (STEAM) lesson plan catalyzes collaborative divergence in the form of divergent thinking skills and creative thinking traits. Collaborative divergence refers to the small groups of peers that interact in creative problem solving as a team. Ideas were shared from each student, and as a group they synthesized their ideas and engaged in art making practices that moved away from the common starting point of the project and applied fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. Observations from a three part lesson plan working with twenty fourth grade students in a public school visual arts classroom aimed to answer the research question: How may the integration of the visual arts and STEM curricula enhance elements of creativity that lead to divergent thinking?