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Assessing Teacher Education and Professional Development Needs for the Implementation of Integrated Approaches to STEM Education


"Given the growing interest in, and relevance of, integrated approaches to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, there is an urgent desire to understand the challenges and obstacles to developing and implementing integrated STEM curricula and instruction. In this article, we present phase 1 of a two-phase needs assessment study to identify challenges and needs of promoting integrated approaches in STEM education. Utilizing a key informant approach, 22 K-12 teachers and four administrators selected as potential leaders in STEM education in an unidentified state on the East Coast of the USA were interviewed. Participants were asked to identify challenges and perceived supports to conduct integrated STEM education. Questions were open-ended in order to inform a larger, state-wide questionnaire study in phase 2 to be reported subsequently and were qualitatively coded."