Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Sydney Brown

Abstract

STEM education has become a preferred curriculum design for integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into k-12 instruction (Meyrick, 2011). Nonetheless, many elementary schools do not utilize the curriculum design and the benefits of learning it may provide, even though elementary educators understand the importance of science literacy starting in early childhood (Cafarella, McCulloch, & Bell, 2017; Worth, 2010). For many educators, the traditional instruction received as a child was instruction in isolation. This vision has led educators themselves to teach in isolation. Research has shown educators had little or no direction in how to switch their instructional practices from traditional learning practices into inquiry-based interdisciplinary STEM learning (Epstein & Miller, 2011). Through an explanatory sequential mix methods study, the research’s purpose was to investigate elementary educators’ perspectives of implementing STEM innovation in three area elementary schools including the strengths and challenges associated with implementation. Furthermore, the study aimed to describe to what extent elementary educators are supported through the implementation process as well as how the innovation could be further supported in the elementary classroom. Findings of the study showed many elementary educators are willing to change practices to accommodate STEM innovation; however, a lack of STEM understanding has affected their interpretations and perspectives of the innovation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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