Deliverable 3.1 (D3.1) marks a pivotal step for our project since presents the “Joint STEAM Curriculum in Special Education” that will be implemented to reinforce and support the professional development of educators on how to fully exploit the benefits of STEAM frameworks and approaches in enhancing the inclusion of all learners in the mainstream classroom.
In this Deliverable, the theoretical foundations that the proposed curriculum builds upon are presented, as well as the methodology that was followed for its design and development. The SpicE training program that will be developed following the principles of the proposed curriculum consists of three sequential training phases described below. Each type of training focuses on a spiral development of teachers’ understandings and skills for becoming an Inclusive STEAM educator.
Empowering Educators: The Three-Phase Training Program
Phase 1. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): “STEAM education for all learners: Incorporating STEAM and Inclusive education practices in everyday teaching”. The goal of the MOOC is to support the teachers’ professional development to build foundational understandings, strategies, and competences for becoming Inclusive STEAM educators through self-regulated learning and community building activities. The MOOC spans five weeks and each week consists of three to five Modules concerning the following thematic areas: (i) STEAM education, (ii) Inclusive and Special Education and (iii) Inclusive STEAM education. All modules include self-running presentations and forum activities for the participants to exchange experiences, ideas, good practices, etc. The course is primarily addressed to pre- and in-service primary school teachers, but it will also be open for participation to all educators of all educational levels and subject areas.
Phase 2. Blended Learning Program: “Becoming an Inclusive STEAM educator: educational practices for pre- and in-service teachers”. The second phase of the training program builds on the foundational knowledge educators developed through their participation in the MOOC and aims to aid participants in extending the development of more in-depth understanding, strategies, and skills relevant to Inclusive STEAM education, while considering the diverse needs of pre-service and in-service teachers. The blended learning course spans five weeks and it includes modules for pre-service and in-service teachers. Some material and activities will be delivered digitally in various forms (e.g., presentations, videos, online documents, activities, etc.) during online asynchronous sessions, and others will be delivered through synchronous online tutoring sessions with real-time engagement and interaction of the participants.
Phase 3: Teachers’ exchange programs, delivered in synchronous learning settings with physical presence of all participants and tutors. The third phase of the SpicE training program includes four mobility programs that aim at extending the competences that educators developed through their participation in the MOOC and the Blended Learning courses, while at the same time gives priority on teachers’ development of more in-depth understanding, strategies, and skills through exploiting the expertise of the hosting organizations and country-specific good practices. The third phase of the training program will be face-to-face. The duration of each program will be five days (two travelling days and three days of training) and 48 educators will be chosen to participate, 12 from each country (Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria and Spain).
Based on the “Joint STEAM Curriculum in Special Education”, a comprehensive training program is on the horizon! This program will aim to equip educators with the necessary skills and knowledge to become Inclusive STEAM educators. Stay tuned!