Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4467-6603

Year of Publication

2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department/School/Program

Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Mohr-Schroeder

Abstract

This research is focused on elementary science teaching and learning with support of a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) specialist because science tends to be nearly absent from self-contained classrooms in the primary grades. Research has established STEM education needs to increase, however, a key question for researchers remains who should teach science and how we can improve teacher efficacy for science education. The purpose of this study is to discover the impacts of a STEM specialist’s role on an elementary school’s daily science instruction. “Impact” refers to teachers, administrators, and student’s value in science education, teacher’s confidence in science instruction, and teachers and administrator’s perception of science teaching as a shared responsibility. Results for the research questions are discussed through a qualitative, single, case study of an urban elementary school transitioning to a STEM specialist co-teaching model after adopting the Amplify Science curriculum. Conclusions are supported by data gathered and analyzed from teacher and administrator interviews, student surveys, unit assessment data, and a participant journal from the STEM specialist. This case study research found the addition of a STEM specialist co-teaching model did positively impact science instruction in the elementary classroom and made strides towards daily science teaching and learning. It also broadens the research in this field and its transferability benefits those who wish to implement a STEM specialist model within their school.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2020.436

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