STEM Program Implementation: A Case Study Analysis of Perceptions, Resources, Equity and Diversity
Egenrieder, James A.
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This case study examined the perceptions of administrators, teachers and parents of the implementation of an elementary school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) academy program that featured characteristics of both magnet school programs and schoolwithin-a-school programs. I conducted interviews of key personnel, informed by classroom observations and a survey of parents to determine how stakeholders perceived equity in the access and allocation of opportunities and resources. The STEM Academy selected students from neighboring elementary schools and was housed within a larger K-5 elementary school. I found the STEM Academy teachers were widely praised for their innovations and teaching excellence, and alignment with emerging best practices. However, there were perceptions that their curriculum was neither sufficiently documented nor aligned with school division priorities, and was insufficiently communicated with school division central office leaders Academy parents, teachers, and community partners praised the Academy’s approach to curriculum, instruction, and uncommon learning experiences; but resentment and perceptions of inequity and exclusivity among most other stakeholders compromised the program implementation, leading to administrative and political pressure that challenged the Academy’s sustainability. I provide discussion and recommendations concerning elementary STEM programs, highlighting the importance of stakeholder perceptions and program evaluation. I also provide several suggestions for further research.
- Doctoral Dissertations