STEAM approach to enhance the creativity of students with special needs in inclusive primary schools

Siska Angreni, Rona Taula Sari, Fadhilla Mursyafiela


This research is motivated by the lack of 21st-century skills, especially among students with special needs in the slow learner category. The study aims to enhance students' creativity in learning science by implementing the STEAM approach in class VD of Elementary School 24 Ujung Gurun. This research follows the classroom action research method, conducted in two cycles, with each cycle comprising two meetings. The process involves four essential stages: planning, implementation, observation, and reflection. The research employed teacher observation sheets and student creativity observation sheets as instruments. The data analysis technique used is comparative descriptive statistical analysis, comparing learning creativity between cycle I and cycle II. The specific creativity indicator observed is elaboration, with sub-indicators focusing on developing or enriching other people's ideas. The results indicate that the application of the STEAM approach led to an increase in the creativity of students with special needs. The observation and data analysis results demonstrate a rise in students' creativity from an average of 64% in cycle I to 81% in cycle II. In conclusion, the study revealed an improvement in the creativity of students with special needs through the implementation of the STEAM approach at Primary School 24 Ujung Gurun. Despite challenges such as assessing work based on student's abilities and some students lacking honesty in their efforts, it is recommended to continue using the STEAM approach as an alternative method to enhance the creativity of slow learners in learning, given its positive impact on students' creative abilities.


STEAM Approach; Slow learners; 21st-century skills; Classroom action research; Learning Creativity

Full Text:



M. F. Vistara, R. Rochmad, and K. Wijayanti, “Systematic Literature Review: STEM Approach through Engineering Design Process with Project Based Learning Model to Improve Mathematical Creative Thinking Skills,” Math. Educ. J., vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 140-156, Aug. 2022, doi: 10.22219/mej.v6i2.21150.

B. Thornhill Miller et al., “Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration: Assessment, Certification, and Promotion of 21st Century Skills for the Future of Work and Education,” J. Intell., vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 54-60, Mar. 2023, doi: 10.3390/jintelligence11030054.

G. Kaufmann, “What to Measure? A new look at the concept of creativity,” Scand. J. Educ. Res., vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 235-251, Jul. 2003, doi: 10.1080/00313830308604.

K. Selvi, “Learning and Creativity,” in Phenomenology of Life from the Animal Soul to the Human Mind, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2007, pp. 351-370. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-5192-0_21

A. Bisoyi, “Ownership, liability, patentability, and creativity issues in artificial intelligence,” Inf. Secur. J. A Glob. Perspect., vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 377-386, Jul. 2022, doi: 10.1080/19393555.2022.2060879.

A. Hills and A. Bird, “Creativity without value,” in Creativity and Philosophy, 1 [edition]. New York: Routledge, 2018: Routledge, 2018, pp. 95-107. doi: 10.4324/9781351199797-6

T. T. Wu and Y.T. Wu, “Applying project based learning and SCAMPER teaching strategies in engineering education to explore the influence of creativity on cognition, personal motivation, and personality traits,” Think. Ski. Creat., vol. 35, p. 100631, Mar. 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.tsc.2020.100631.

J. Boonpracha, “SCAMPER for creativity of students’ creative idea creation in product design,” Think. Ski. Creat., vol. 48, p. 101282, Jun. 2023, doi: 10.1016/j.tsc.2023.101282.

L. Goncz, “Teacher personality: a review of psychological research and guidelines for a more comprehensive theory in educational psychology,” Open Rev. Educ. Res., vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 75–95, Jan. 2017, doi: 10.1080/23265507.2017.1339572.

I. Demchenko, B. Maksymchuk, V. Bilan, I. Maksymchuk, and I. Kalynovska, “Training Future Physical Education Teachers for Professional Activities under the Conditions of Inclusive Education,” Brain Broad Res. Artif. Intell. Neurosci., vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 191–213, Aug. 2021, doi: 10.18662/brain/12.3/227.

J.E. Lee, J. Y.C. Chan, A. Botelho, and E. Ottmar, “Does slow and steady win the race?: Clustering patterns of students’ behaviors in an interactive online mathematics game,” Educ. Technol. Res. Dev., vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 1575–1599, Oct. 2022, doi: 10.1007/s11423-022-10138-4.

D. Vuong Thuy and H. Nguyen Thi Cam, “Applying Finger Math method in activities to get acquainted with some elementary concepts of math according to the approach of STEAM education in inclusive preschool for children with intellectual disabilities,” J. Sci. Educ. Sci., vol. 67, no. 5A, pp. 123–131, Dec. 2022, doi: 10.18173/2354-1075.2022-0126.

S. Belbase, B. R. Mainali, W. Kasemsukpipat, H. Tairab, M. Gochoo, and A. Jarrah, “At the dawn of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education: prospects, priorities, processes, and problems,” Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol., vol. 53, no. 11, pp. 2919–2955, Oct. 2022, doi: 10.1080/0020739X.2021.1922943.

M. Basaran and M. Erol, “Recognizing aesthetics in nature with STEM and STEAM education,” Res. Sci. Technol. Educ., vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 326–342, Jan. 2023, doi: 10.1080/02635143.2021.1908248.

T. Murdiyanto, D. A. Wijayanti, and A. Sovia, “Identify Slow Learners in Math: Case Study in Rural Schools,” Int. J. Interact. Mob. Technol., vol. 17, no. 06, pp. 45–61, Mar. 2023, doi: 10.3991/ijim.v17i06.36903.

Sumaira Younis, Saman Naeem, and Dr. Zahid Ali, “Analysing the Perceptions of Teachers’ and Parents’ on the Causes and Consequences of Slow Learners’ Early Learning Difficulties in Karachi Pakistan,” sjesr, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 132–138, Mar. 2023, doi: 10.36902/sjesr-vol6-iss1-2023(132-138).

Y.S. Chang, Y.Y. Wang, and Y.T. Ku, “Influence of online STEAM hands on learning on AI learning, creativity, and creative emotions,” Interactive Learning Environments. pp. 1–20, 02-May-2023, doi: 10.1080/10494820.2023.2205898.

P. Yungkeun, “Analysis of Teachers’ Questions in the STEAM Class for Students with Intellectual Disabilities,” J. Curric. Teach., vol. 11, no. 5, p. 205, Aug. 2022, doi: 10.5430/jct.v11n5p205.

S. M. Stehle and E. E. Peters Burton, “Developing student 21st Century skills in selected exemplary inclusive STEM high schools,” Int. J. STEM Educ., vol. 6, no. 1, p. 39, Dec. 2019, doi: 10.1186/s40594-019-0192-1.

M. Dimitrova, N. Sabev, L. Ozaeta, V. Nikolov, and A. Krastev, “Aspects of the Intrinsic Motivation as Accessibility Factors in the Inclusive ‘STEAM’ Education,” Innov. STEM Educ., vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 24–31, Jun. 2022, doi: 10.55630/STEM.2022.0404.

Y. Hacioglu and E. Suicmez, “STEAM education in preschool education: We design our school for our visually impaired friend,” Sci. Act., vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 55–67, Apr. 2022, doi: 10.1080/00368121.2022.2056111.

D. Hopkins and D. Stern, “Quality teachers, quality schools: International perspectives and policy implications,” Teach. Teach. Educ., vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 501–517, Sep. 1996, doi: 10.1016/0742-051X(95)00055-O.

J. R. Covvey, C. McClendon, and M. R. Gionfriddo, “Back to the basics: Guidance for formulating good research questions,” Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. Oct-2023, doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2023.09.009.

G. Goldschmidt and B. Matthews, “Formulating design research questions: A framework,” Des. Stud., vol. 78, p. 101062, Jan. 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.destud.2021.101062.

E. Castell, S. Muir, L. D. Roberts, P. Allen, M. Rezae, and A. Krishna, “Experienced qualitative researchers’ views on teaching students qualitative research design,” Qual. Res. Psychol., vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 978–1003, Oct. 2022, doi: 10.1080/14780887.2021.1992061.

D. Bossio, B. Loch, M. Schier, and A. Mazzolini, “A roadmap for forming successful interdisciplinary education research collaborations: a reflective approach,” High. Educ. Res. Dev., vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 198–211, Mar. 2014, doi: 10.1080/07294360.2013.832167.

B. T. Khoa, B. P. Hung, and M. H. Brahmi, “Qualitative research in social sciences: data collection, data analysis and report writing,” Int. J. Public Sect. Perform. Manag., vol. 12, no. 1/2, pp. 187–209, 2023, doi: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2023.132247.

D. Hopkins, A teacher’s guide to classroom research. McGraw-Hill Education (UK), 2014.

M. Bergroth, J. Llompart Esbert, N. Pepiot, S. Sierens, T. Draznik, and K. Van Der Worp, “Whose action research is it?: Promoting linguistically sensitive teacher education in Europe,” Educ. Action Res., vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 265–284, Mar. 2023, doi: 10.1080/09650792.2021.1925570.

C. Walther Thomas, L. Korinek, V. L. McLaughlin, and B. T. Williams, “Improving Educational Opportunities for Students With Disabilities Who Are Homeless,” J. Child. Poverty, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 57–75, Dec. 1996, doi: 10.1080/10796129608414759.

J. Campbell, L. Gilmore, and M. Cuskelly, “Changing student teachers’ attitudes towards disability and inclusion,” J. Intellect. Dev. Disabil., vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 369–379, Dec. 2003, doi: 10.1080/13668250310001616407.

C.H. Wu, C.H. Liu, and Y.M. Huang, “The exploration of continuous learning intention in STEAM education through attitude, motivation, and cognitive load,” Int. J. STEM Educ., vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 1–22, Dec. 2022, doi: 10.1186/s40594-022-00346-y.

T. J. Kennedy and C. W. Sundberg, “21st Century Skills,” in Science education in theory and practice: An introductory guide to learning theory, 2020, pp. 479–496. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-43620-9_32

C. F. Quigley, D. Herro, C. Shekell, H. Cian, and L. Jacques, “Connected Learning in STEAM Classrooms: Opportunities for Engaging Youth in Science and Math Classrooms,” Int. J. Sci. Math. Educ., vol. 18, no. 8, pp. 1441–1463, Dec. 2020, doi: 10.1007/s10763-019-10034-z.

E. Kastriti, M. Kalogiannakis, S. Psycharis, and D. Vavougios, “The teaching of Natural Sciences in kindergarten based on the principles of STEM and STEAM approach,” Adv. Mob. Learn. Educ. Res., vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 268–277, 2022, doi: 10.25082/AMLER.2022.01.011.

L. Li, “Critical thinking from the ground up: teachers’ conceptions and practice in EFL classrooms,” Teachers and Teaching. pp. 1–23, 28-Mar-2023, doi: 10.1080/13540602.2023.2191182.

T. Houghton, Z. Lavicza, J. M. Diego Mantecon, K. Fenyvesi, R. Weinhandl, and I. F. Rahmadi, “Hothousing: Utilising industry collaborative problem solving practices for STEAM in schools,” J. Technol. Sci. Educ., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 274–284, Mar. 2022, doi: 10.3926/jotse.1324.

J. O Higgins Norman, C. Berger, S. Yoneyama, and D. Cross, “School bullying: moving beyond a single school response to a whole education approach,” Pastor. Care Educ., vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 328–341, Jul. 2022, doi: 10.1080/02643944.2022.2095419.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Siska Angreni

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

JURNAL JPSD (Jurnal Pendidikan Sekolah Dasar)

p-ISSN: 2614-0136, e-ISSN: 2614-0136

Published by Universitas Ahmad Dahlan

Universitas Ahmad Dahlan Kampus 5
Jalan Ki Ageng Pemanahan No. 19
Telp .: (+62274) 563515, 511829 Ext. 5111
Faks .: (+62274) 564604
email 1:
email 2:

JPSD journal indexed at:

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

JPSD Journal Stats