Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Wilkins, Elizabeth A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Teacher education; Curriculum development; Student teachers--Evaluation--Research; Mixed methods research; Science--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Research; Technology--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Research; Engineering--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Research; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Research


This mixed-methods study longitudinally examined 12 elementary pre-service teachers' perceptions, attitudes, confidence, and abilities to integrate STEM into their instruction. In three phases spanning two semesters, the pre-service teachers from a small, private, Midwestern university were studied as they completed a combined science and social studies methods course, during which they designed and implemented an Integrated STEM Unit at a local elementary school. Phases I and II of this three-phase study took place before the methods course and after the methods course, while Phase III of this study took place during the final student teaching semester in order to gain a sense as to the longitudinal retention of the four variables studied pertaining to STEM integration. In all three phases of the study quantitative data were collected in the form of two survey instruments, including the STEM Semantics Survey and the Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (STEBI-B). Additionally in all three phases, one-on-one interviews were conducted with the same group of five participants in order to examine the study's variables from a qualitative perspective. In Phase II, the solicited Integrated STEM Unit project, which was part of the culminating project in the methods course, was studied using an analytical assessment rubric to quantify participants' abilities to design integrated STEM lessons. Quantitative findings suggest that elementary pre-service teachers' perceptions, confidence, and abilities are positively impacted through STEM-based preparation, specifically that which embeds a co-taught, integrated, teaching experience in which the pre-service teachers are able to apply what is learned in an authentic setting. Qualitative findings supported the quantitative results, but also suggested a positive trend in elementary pre-service teachers' attitudes toward STEM as a result of engaging in STEM-based preparation.


Advisors: Elizabeth Wilkins.||Committee members: William Bromer; Mary Beth Henning.


258 pages




Northern Illinois University

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