A systematic analysis of an initial STEM professional development program : a case study
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The aim of this case study was to gain a better understanding of how an initial STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professional development (PD) program implemented on a specific group of mathematics and science teachers and examine these mathematics and science teachers’ understandings and perceptions of STEM education and their influence on classroom practices. This study was framed and guided by STEM: Integrated Teaching Framework (InTeachFramework) which also formed the “focal points” of this study that were interdisciplinarity, rigor, relevance, and equity. In this exploratory case study, qualitative data gathered by observing the initial STEM PD program for 27 secondary mathematics and science teachers within a large metropolitan school. Voice records and written data were utilized with observational techniques to determine perceptions and influences of STEM education on teachers. Findings indicated that initial STEM PD provided teachers to show their general understanding on STEM principles explicitly in their classroom practices. Real-life applications related to teacher’s main disciplines and connections of them with other disciplines were the most adopted indicators in the classrooms. Similarly, teachers gained an understanding on necessity of authentic problems of knowledge society (APoKS) for teachers in school environment. The study also found that the desired solution offers and related products for APoKS that emphasized in STEM PD were not fulfilled in the classroom practices.