A European Framework of Competences in Teaching STEAM

EU-Programme: Erasmus+, KA2, Strategic Partnerships for School Education
Coordination: Coventry University (United Kingdom)

Duration: September 2019 – August 2022


Although high ability in the school and academic context tends to go hand in hand with good school results, school failure it is not uncommon. Students with high intellectual ability can struggle to succeed at school or feel ostracised or rejected by their peer group (EU, 2013). In disadvantaged social settings, giftedness is often masked by socio-economic shortcomings and difficulties.

Looking at the current situation in the Member States, is clear that there is a need to improve
educational practices and activities aimed at this type of students, something that is influenced by the scarcity of targeted teacher training in this area. Currently, most gifted children spend the majority of their time in regular classrooms without access to challenging coursework or teachers knowledgeable about the special learning needs of our most highly able learners.

STEAM education has an enormous potential to provide more challenging and motivating exercises to gifted and talented students. We can define STEAM education as Science and Technology, interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements. STEAM is not about spending less time on STEM subjects and more time on art, it’s about applying creative thinking to STEM projects, and sparking students’ imagination and creativity through the arts.

Studies show that a quality STEAM education program is engaging, motivating, student-centred, innovative, collaborative, and applies real-world applications (J.C.2017). Despite much interest in STEAM it is often challenging for many teachers to integrate into their teaching of school subject matter.

To help gifted students achieve STEAM excellence is necessary to: identify the competences that teachers need in order to provide challenging material to the most capable learners; train teachers to recognize giftedness; incorporate into teacher training the educational use of ICT and the encouragement of creativity, innovation and initiative; create specialized and innovative training and assessment methods, contents and tools in STEAM education for gifted students to support the professional practices of the teachers; expand the number of selective Schools that apply STEAM education for gifted in Europe.

STEAM Stars project aims to design a European Framework of Competences in teaching STEAM education for gifted, promoting innovative methods and pedagogies addressed to gifted students and developing OER digital learning materials and tools in STEAM education for gifted. The envisaged long-term impact of the project will be a strengthening of the School Education system in Europe.

Project Nº 2019-1-UK01-KA201-061537

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.