This research is a qualitative case study of pre-service teachers’ experiences with a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) module during a middle level interdisciplinary course in the teaching of mathematics and science. Data were collected through document analysis of participant reflection journals (during six distinct stem tasks) and college curriculum as well as an analysis of researcher observations of the STEM activities. While the first and last tasks were reflective and designed to identify pre-existing STEM experiences and post-module knowledge, respectively, the other four STEM tasks simulated student-centered STEM activities common to the middle level classroom. The data were analyzed for patterns and significant experiences among participants. Findings indicated that participants perceived little to no experiences with STEM in K-12 education and other college courses despite contradicting data from required college coursework. As the module progressed, participants developed improved self-efficacy and expanded definitions for the teaching of STEM at the middle level. Future recommendations include more purposeful connection of teaching methodology and STEM content courses taught in isolation. Additional research is needed in more consistent and authentic STEM field placements for the continued growth and support of STEM in middle level teacher preparation.
STEM, Middle Level Education, Teacher Preparation, Case Study
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Recommended APA Citation
Nowikowski, S. H. (2016). Successful with STEM? A Qualitative Case Study of Pre-Service Teacher Perceptions. The Qualitative Report, 22(9), 2312-2333. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol22/iss9/3