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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.






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 Science Education at Institute of Education

I am a qualitative 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 and teacher education and c) intersectionality/equality,...

Profile picture of Jo Trowsdale
Jo Trowsdale, Dr

Associate Professor at University of Warwick

Jo Trowsdale is Associate Professor, Arts, Creativity and Education in Sociology at the University of Warwick. Jo has extensive policy and practice experience as a former regional director of a systematic government initiative to enhance the role...