SpicE aims to combine four key elements of education reflected in the international research STEAM, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), inclusion of primary education students with mild disabilities, and teacher training. The development of skills as part of the lifelong learning of teachers is a crucial asset for all countries. STEAM is an educational trend that all countries are trying to include within their curriculum. Recently, several European Ministries of Education have promoted the Labs of Skills (or similar concepts), and already the training of teachers has started. From this aspect, what is missing is inclusive education, especially for students with mild disabilities.
The five objectives have been set on the basis that they are feasible in that the HEIs, as catalysts for schools and teachers, have identified needs that they are committed, at the leadership level, to addressing. They have each identified schools with whom they will work. Also, many of the interventions have been tested and successfully implemented in the countries, confirming that they are achievable. Associate partners have agreed that their project input is feasible and achievable.
Thus the objectives that need to be addressed based on the proposal are:
- O1: Develop a Competence and Education framework for STEAM in Special Education for identifying existing and emerging skills needs for teachers engaged in STEAM education of students with mild disabilities in Primary Education and update Special Education related occupational profiles, as needed. This objective entails understanding and developing the methodology of UDL and its implementation in STEAM and inclusive education. This objective addresses the main scope of the project, and all countries will. Around 500 teachers will be reached and informed about this methodology. A new Skills Strategy, the Integrated STEAM Special Education framework, will be thus created by combining Special Education and STEAM didactic approaches for teaching STEAM to students with mild disabilities, a strategy that will enable teachers’ continuous development and growth. This objective addresses teachers’ needs in target countries for enhanced human capital in understanding and identifying the skills and didactic approaches. Around 500 teachers will be reached and informed about this objective.Create a unique, state-of-the-art, technology-enhanced, fully regulated Online Campus for VET providers.
- O2: Design an innovative Joint STEAM Curriculum for Special Education focused on competencies and Primary Education Teacher job profiles to enable the rapid upskilling/reskilling of existing teachers and young people wishing to enter the realm of Special Needs Primary Education, fast-tracking candidates into specific job roles. The 3rd objective will share, develop, and embed existing good practices between institutions, nationally and internationally. This objective is also based on the needs analysis that will result in an innovative Joint STEAM Curriculum. Teachers will benefit by having more in-depth knowledge and tools with which to work, which will serve as a blueprint for adoption by teachers at other institutions. The objective will generate tangible evidence for the Government of interventions that bring policy to life and/or challenge existing policy.
- O3: Develop a STEAM Training Programme for Special Education and create all related learning materials and delivery methods for selected skills, with accredited training and qualifications. This Objectiveaddresses teachers’ needs in target countries for enhanced human capital in understanding the developed methodology of STEAM curriculum. This objective will ensure to train 100 ‘trainers’ (in service, pre-service teachers), which will ultimately reach 750 participants for enhancing teachers’ self-efficacy and effectiveness, measured by improved student assessment performance and teacher satisfaction. Integrate a joint model of mobility in the new programme to ensure continuous upskilling and reskilling to adapt to rapidly changing inclusion STEAM skills needs and technologies. This objective will focus on the continuous development of the new programme throughout the project lifetime. From the inclusion of STEAM skills needs and technologies, around 100 teachers (in-service, pre-service) will benefit.
- O4: Pilot and evaluate the STEAM Training Programme for Special Education, a curriculum that facilitates cross-border certification and, therefore, contributes to the mobility of Primary Education Teachers across Europe. This objective engages all partners on the design and pilot test of the curriculum. One pilot test per country with a unique physical mobility action involving 48 teachers from 4 countries.
- O5: Create and nurture a sustainable CoP composed of key European stakeholders to provide STEAM education to special groups in primary education, which will cooperate in developing and implementing new strategic approaches to address the current and future skills gap. Involve the CoP in the development of policy influence tools. This objective focuses on early increased high-level awareness of STEAM and UDL on primary education students with mild disabilities by developing continuous updating through networks via social media and collaborative platforms. Strengthen the exchange of knowledge and best practices between European stakeholders for soft and hard skills that enable STEAM education for students with mild disabilities. This objective involves bringing together an interdisciplinary network, initially to engage in a series of local roundtable events, estimated to attract approximately 100 participants.