Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

James Therrell, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Deborah Stone, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Amanda Sailors, Ph.D.

Keywords

arts, Mezirow’s transformational learning theory, STEAM, STEM, STEM to STEAM movement

Abstract

An increasing number of educators are supporting the STEAM approach to education, so that students will have the necessary skills and abilities needed for the 21st century workforce. Entire schools as well as school districts have transitioned to STEAM. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore how content teachers make the transition from their traditional educational approach to implementing a STEAM curriculum. The researcher used purposeful sampling to select one participant from the arts discipline and one teacher from the STEM discipline at two research sites used in the multiple case study. Data collection methods included one-on-one interviews, a focus group, and observations of corroborating artifacts and documents. Findings led to four themes which depicted the process that teachers went through to transition to STEAM. Teachers developed a mindset to teach from STEAM perspective, started small and built up, used collaboration as a resource, and participated in ongoing professional development. The transition process appeared to support Mezirow’s (1991) steps involved in transformational learning theory and the STEAM movement. Future research could include a deeper look at how teachers transition to STEAM, how non-STEM classes are involved in STEAM, and how educational leaders make decisions to transition a school’s curricular approach.

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Education Commons

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