SpicE Consortium Works to Improve Inclusive STEAM Education for Students with Mild Disabilities through Work Package 2 progress
During the first nine months, SpicE consortium members have been working on collecting and analyzing the STEAM Special Education practices. In recent years the interest of the international education community in the promotion of STEAM Education has been considerably increased. This interest has resulted from the belief that STEAM – literate citizens may cope better with present and future life demands than citizens who do not possess STEAM – related knowledge and skills. The transformation of the interest in STEAM Education into concrete school practice is carried out through various measures such as the introduction of STEAM disciplines in the existing school curricula, and the training of teachers in implementing STEAM education activities.
In this context the challenging issue of the education of students with Mild Disabilities acquires new important dimensions. The well – known learning difficulties of these students necessitate the adoption of new instructional solutions that will facilitate their productive participation in STEAM Education activities. Otherwise, the learning distance of students with Mild Disabilities from their classmates without disabilities may become unmanageable. In this regard, the contribution of the SpicE project may be significant, as its main focus is to present functional solutions for effective teacher training in Inclusive STEAM Education.
In order to achieve the project’s main goal, the participating partners conducted a systematic review of STEAM and Inclusive education practices implemented in their countries and also worldwide. Moreover, they investigated the knowledge of pre- and in-service teachers from their educational systems with regard to (a) the present situation of Inclusive STEAM Education in each country, and (b) the conceptualizations of important Inclusive STEAM Education dimensions.
Additionally, teacher attitudes preferences were explored in reference to the prospect of participating in specialized training programs focusing on this complex issue.