Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Department

Education Specialties

First Advisor

Barbara Cozza

Second Advisor

Katherine C. Aquino

Third Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Abstract

The purpose of this multiple case study, grounded theory design is to describe and document the process teachers go through when implementing a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum and program at a K-4 elementary school. Throughout this process, elementary teachers’ beliefs and perceptions of effective STEAM instruction will be analyzed to determine how teachers interpret and implement this new initiative. The goal of this investigation will be to gain a deeper understanding of teacher attitudes, beliefs, and mental models surrounding STEAM instruction as well as their comfort with implementing the new Next Generation Science Standards (“NGSS”). Prior studies have shown that elementary school teachers are limited in STEAM content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and confidence in teaching STEAM concepts, resulting in elementary teachers avoiding teaching STEAM subjects altogether (Epstein & Miller, 2011). The sample for this research will be 5 teachers (n=5), one from each grade level K- 4. These teachers have taught in a Title 1 funded suburban school located in Long Island, New York. Data collection and analysis will consist of a triangulation between lesson observations, lesson plan review, and a focus group interview - which will examine teachers’ perspectives regarding the overall effectiveness and implementation of the STEAM initiative. This study is significant to teacher leaders in understanding the challenges and experiences teachers might face in integrating and implementing new STEAM curriculum in an elementary school setting. The findings of the study seek to assist educators and leaders in identifying strengths and weaknesses with respect to teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, CK and PCK with respect to STEAM implementation.

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