How a particular STEAM model is developing primary education: lessons from the Teach-Make project (England)

Trowsdale, Jo and Davies, Richard orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7910-8959 (2024) How a particular STEAM model is developing primary education: lessons from the Teach-Make project (England). Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning . ISSN 2397-7604

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There is a lack of clarity about what constitutes Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education and what the arts contribute. In this paper the authors discuss a distinct model, theorised from a five-year study of a particular, innovative STEAM education project (The Imagineerium), and developed by the researchers through working with primary school teachers in England within a second project (Teach-Make). The paper examines how teachers implemented this model, the Trowsdale art-making model for education (the TAME), and reflected on its value and positive impact on their planning and pedagogy.

The paper draws on two studies: firstly, a five-year, mixed methods, participative study of The Imagineerium and secondly a participative and collaborative qualitative study of Teach-Make.

Study of The Imagineerium showed strong positive educational outcomes for pupils and an appetite from teachers to translate the approach to the classroom. The Teach-Make project showed that with a clear curriculum model (the TAME) and professional development to improve teachers' planning and active pedagogical skills, they could design and deliver “imagineerium-like” schemes of work in their classrooms. Teachers reported a positive impact on both their own approach to supporting learning, as well as pupil progression and enjoyment.

The paper argues that the TAME, a consolidation of research evidence from The Imagineerium and developed through Teach-Make, offers both a distinctive and effective model for STEAM and broader education, one that is accessible to, valued by and manageable for teachers.

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