Publication Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Education

First Advisor

Jane Rhoades Hudak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Lynette L. Danley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ellen Silver-Horrell, Ed.D.

Abstract

Background: Research shows that STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) curriculum improves student abilities to create relevant products and services. However, teacher support is critical when implementing a new, school-wide curriculum model and learning tools as teachers need easy access to online resources. Yet, online resources currently used in many schools do not inform the processes or the ideology of STEAM curricula through collaboration among all teachers in a private school setting.

Purpose: The focus of this quasi-experimental quantitative research study was to examine the impact of a 1-week online STEAM professional development course on teacher behavior and their perceptions of their self-efficacy regarding integrating STEAM concepts in their classroom instruction, lesson plans, and extracurricular activities. The setting was a private school (preschool through Grade 8) with a focus on science and math education in a large Midwestern city.

Methods: A quasi-experimental design was selected for this study because of the necessity for data that determine the relationship between the independent variable, which was the STEAM online course developed for the present study, and the dependent variable, which was the teachers' self-reported behavior and perceptions of their STEAM teaching self-efficacy before and after taking the online course. It was also necessary to generate data regarding the relationship between teachers participating in a 1-week online STEAM professional development course and their behavior and perceptions of their self-efficacy regarding STEAM teaching. The participants included elementary and preschool art, math, science, computer, language arts, and social studies teachers at a private school with a focus on science and math education in a large Midwestern city.

Results: It was hypothesized that the initiation of a 1-week online STEAM course for teachers would be effective, and pretest/posttest results supported this hypothesis. This is because the intervention combines easy online access to STEAM curricula with the understanding of the importance of the STEAM education model and concepts to all teachers in the private school setting.

Conclusion: Study results showed that online professional development participants had an overall positive perception of the effects of the course on their beliefs and perceptions regarding their STEAM curricula teaching self-efficacy. Differences in the pretest and posttest survey results showed that the STEAM online professional development impacted teachers' STEAM teaching self-efficacy.