Quality STEM education is the key in helping the United States maintain its lead in global competitiveness and in preparing for new economic and security challenges in the future. Policymakers and professional societies emphasize STEM education by legislating the addition of engineering standards to the existing science standards. On the other hand, the nature of the work of most STEM professionals requires people to actively apply STEM knowledge to make critical decisions. Therefore, using an integrated approach to teaching STEM in K–12 is expected. However, science teachers encounter numerous difficulties in adapting the new STEM integration reforms into their classrooms because of a lack of knowledge and experience. Therefore, high quality STEM integration professional development programs are an urgent necessity. In order to provide these high quality programs, it is important to understand teachers‘ perceptions and classroom practices regarding STEM integration.
A multiple-case study was conducted with five secondary school science teachers in order to gain a better understanding of teachers‘ perceptions and classroom practices in using STEM integration. This study addresses the following research questions: 1) What are secondary school science teachers‘ practices of STEM integration? 2) What are secondary science teachers‘ overall perceptions of STEM integration? and 3) What is the connection between secondary science teachers‘ perceptions and understanding of STEM integration with their classroom practices? This research aims to explore teachers‘ perceptions and classroom practices in order to set up the baseline for STEM integration and also to determine STEM integration professional development best practices in science education. Findings from the study provide critical data for making informed decision about the direction for STEM integration in science education in K–12.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2012. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisors: Gillian H. Roehrig, Tamara J. Moore. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 303 pages, appendices A-F.
A new era of science education: science teachers‘ perceptions and classroom practices of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) integration..
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