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STEM integration in the middle grades: A case study of teacher implementation

Abstract

Currently, there is a movement in precollege education to include engineering in the science curriculum. In the classroom, one manner of adding engineering to the precollege curricula is through STEM integration in science classrooms. This research project builds on the STEM integration research paradigm through a careful merging of the disciplines of STEM. There are two main types of STEM integration: content integration and context integration. This multiple-case study used content analysis to assess the type of integration used, if any, in the development of curricula for individual lessons and the unit as a whole. The findings demonstrated that, the overall STEM integrated curricula used content integration, but lessons within were either content integration, context integration, or single disciplined. Cases highlighted show these strategies, but cases that deviated significantly from this model are also highlighted. This research advances our understanding about how teachers develop STEM curricula in an interdisciplinary manner with the intent of implementing in precollege classrooms. It provides models of context and content integration across STEM and models of teachers' curriculum development in context-rich interdisciplinary problem spaces. By researching curriculum development, this project provides professional development designers models for quality programs that support interdisciplinary classroom environments

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