Science Instruction in STEM and Non-STEM High Schools

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Melissa Gail Jones
Gina Childers
Rebecca Stanley


This study compared science instruction in STEM and non-STEM high schools to determine how implementing a STEM instructional design impacts science, a cornerstone of STEM curricula. The goal was to gain insight into how the STEM school structure influenced the implementation of the science curriculum. The multiple case study examined STEM integration, science instruction, and students’ perceptions of science instruction. Results from this study indicate that there are few differences in STEM and non-STEM schools’ science instruction. Technology and mathematics integration were similar between all schools, but STEM schools integrated the engineering design process whereas non-STEM schools did not. This study offers insight into the implementation of STEM education within existing school contexts and constraints.

Article Details

Research / Empirical
Author Biographies

Melissa Gail Jones, North Carolina State University

Melissa Gail Jones is Alumni Distinguished Professor of Science Education at NCSU where she teaches preservice and in-service teachers and conducts research on science teaching and learning. Dr. Jones is currently researching new forms of technology for teaching science and strategies to enhance science capital and family habitus for science.

Gina Childers, Texas Tech University

Gina Childers is an assistant professor of STEM education at Texas Tech University.

Rebecca Stanley, Research Triangle Institute

Rebecca Stanley is an Education Consultant in the Center for Education Services at RTI International.