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Special Interest Group

STEAM Education Research

Promoting rich learning in and across the sciences, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics and their interconnectivity) is an under researched topic of great importance and relevance within contemporary educational research. This STEAM Education Research SIG will provide a forum for developing new research collaborations within and beyond the BERA community for researchers, educators and policymakers.

The ‘STEAM approach’ embraces and extends the STEM agenda, providing a rich multi-disciplinary context with a multitude of aspects that are relevant to educational research and practice.

The STEAM approach recognises that artistic and collaborative practices of designing and making offer rich, embodied and alternative pedagogies per se which are significant also for STEM learning and that STEM learning likewise feeds learning in and with the arts. This is relevant to both national and international contexts with growing bodies of research and practice in STEM integrative curricula and pedagogies.

The STEAM Education Research SIG will represent a nuanced body of research and teaching spanning multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and integrated practices.

Research interests:

  • Cross/inter/trans-disciplinary learning inclusive of all educational contexts
  • Ethics and breadth of science education
  • Education for engineering and invention
  • Education as a holistic and embodied practice
  • Broadening of the curriculum

SIG aims:

SIG co-convenors will be supported by an advisory team, composed of experts within and beyond the SIG and BERA. These fellow researchers and practitioners will support the scope of the SIG in expanding its specialisms, geographic and inclusive representation.

Representation at BERA Conference: The SIG will support and encourage the submission of papers, seminars and symposia to represent the growing richness of intelligence and practice regarding STEM/STEAM education.

Day conferences and SIG events: The SIG will offer online/in-person events across the UK to support a community of practice to support STEAM research and collaboration. This will involve liaising with practitioners and researchers within and beyond the four nations to ascertain needs and modes of connection.

SIG Newsletter and Dissemination: The SIG will offer a regular newsletter, including guest written contributions, to SIG members. The Group will also develop a STEAM presence within BERA publications such as BERJ and Research Intelligence.

Supported by the advisory group and their combined networks, the SIG will develop a programme of activities to profile and stimulate STEM/STEAM education. Indicatively such activities will include events focused on:

  • Research generating and informed STEM/STEAM outreach practices focused on understanding and addressing inequities within STEM/STEAM education,
  • Widening STEM/STEAM participation within higher educational settings, between schools and universities,
  • The place of design and engineering within primary and secondary curricular and extra-curricular learning (connected to ongoing proposals for Design Technology in England and engineer sector partnership interventions),
  • The role of the arts in integrated arts-science/STEAM education,
  • The evolving policy context around STEM and STEAM education.


STEAM Education Research SIG Symposium Call


The newly formed STEAM Education Research SIG invites colleagues to submit abstracts for consideration as part of a symposium submission for BERA Conference 2024 (due 31st January 2024).

The title for the Symposium is ‘All STEAMed up? Trying to demystify the uses and value of STEAM education research and practice for teachers, researchers and educational policy makers’. Colleagues are invited to submit papers which critique the uses and value of STEAM for educational practice. Perspectives which explore potential alignments with international and 4 nation school systems and/or which identify challenges and value for subjects / disciplines are particularly welcomed. We hope this will be an insightful provocation to the SIG in developing our research foci going forward.

Please submit a 500 word proposal to us by 20th December with your name (and affiliation if possible) describing your argument, methodological or conceptual frame with references (outside word count). The SIG convenors will both select proposals that best fit a dynamic symposium and offer feedback and encouragement for individual paper submissions to the conference.

Submissions by 20th December 2023 to:;;

STEAM Education Research Newsletters


SIG Convenors

Rory McDonald, Dr

Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Liverpool John Moores University

Rory McDonald is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Liverpool John Moores University. Through his doctoral research he explored the notion of 'Engineering Capital' and the value of subject area-specific applications of Bourdieuian theory. A...

Amanda McCrory, Dr

Associate Professor of Ethics in Science Education at Institute of Education

I am an Associate Professor of Ethics in Science Education at UCL IOE. I am a researcher whose publications and standing in the field have been built around a) ethics and socio-scientific issues in science education, b) primary science pedagogy...

Profile picture of Jo Trowsdale
Jo Trowsdale, Dr

Associate Professor at University of Warwick

Jo Trowsdale is an Honorary Assocaite Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwock. She has extensive policy and practice experience as a former regional director of a systematic government initiative to enhance the role of the place of...

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