Journal of Research in STEM Education <p>Innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) play an essential role in creating new economies, increasing competition in the global market, and improving the quality of life. Given the importance of STEM in our lives, nation’s economies and the environment we live in, there has been an increasing emphasis on teaching STEM under the umbrella of STEM in recent years. STEM stands for the blended and problem-based learning environment that integrates all four subjects in an interdisciplinary fashion.</p> <p>While the idea of STEM is relatively new, STEM programs are flourishing in schools in every corner of the world. The rapid adoption of the STEM idea calls for new understandings about how to reframe the curriculum?, how do teachers develop knowledge/expertise to implement the interdisciplinary curriculum?, and how do students most effectively learn in a blended and interdisciplinary learning environment?. The adoption and implementation of STEM programs also bring new responsibilities for STEM education research community. We should&nbsp;develop new research approaches&nbsp;to understand student learning and teacher practice in these new contexts. We should&nbsp;also establish new interdisciplinary communities to discuss issues and opportunities associated with adoption and implementation of STEM education programs. We must also establish publication venues for these discussions. As a response to this emerging need, we established The Journal of Research in STEM Education (J-STEM).</p> <p>J-STEM is an international peer-reviewed open access journal. It publishes and communicates original research findings to inform researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in an effort to improve the quality and accessibility of STEM education. J-STEM assigns highest priority to reviewing original manuscripts that use rigorous quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods studies on topics related to STEM education in educational settings. Such contexts may include K-12, higher education, and informal education contexts such as museums. We also welcome analytical papers that evaluate important research issues related to any field of STEM education.</p> i-STEM en-US Journal of Research in STEM Education 2149-8504 Editorial <p>In this issue of J-STEM, we have five articles focusing on diverse issues in STEM education. &nbsp;</p> Mehmet Aydeniz, Lynn Liao Hodge, Gokhan Kaya Copyright (c) 2019 Mehmet Aydeniz, Lynn Liao Hodge, Gokhan Kaya 2019-12-31 2019-12-31 5 2 STEAM Programming as a Pathway to Foster Positive Academic Self-Efficacy and Positive Self-Concept <p>Multicultural individuals are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Therefore, the current study is focused on exploring STEAMtrix, a STEM out-of-school time (OST) education program that incorporates the arts for kindergarten through 12<sup>th</sup> grade (K-12) students. The study explores whether STEAMtrix could lead to the formation of positive STEM-specific self-efficacy and self-concept. Specifically, the study examined whether STEAMtrix could improve multicultural students’ interest and awareness of careers within the STEM pipeline. Thirty-eight students from multicultural backgrounds at a medium-sized community center participated in STEAMtrix. Explicit measures of STEM self-efficacy and both explicit and implicit measures of self-concept were collected before and after programming. Results demonstrated that the STEAMtrix curriculum increased STEM self-efficacy in some domains and improved implicit self-concept. This study offers insight into how community organizations and school systems can promote early access, positive self-efficacy, and positive self-concept in relation to STEM educational experiences during OST.</p> Merci Best Robin Best Cheryl Dickter Copyright (c) 2019 Merci Best, Robin Best, Cheryl Dickter 2019-12-31 2019-12-31 5 2 100 118 Recruitment of Science and Mathematics Teachers: Review of Literature and Analysis of Findings From Three Years Efforts of A Recruitment <p class="s5" style="margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; text-indent: 27.0pt; line-height: 150%;"><span class="s2"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">Across the US, many school districts are finding increasing difficulties to fill the ranks of their science and mathematics teaching staff with highly qualified teachers. To alleviate the problem, several national policies, such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, have been enacted to improve the quality of education while reducing teacher shortages. &nbsp;Consequently, many agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Dept. of Education, and the U.S. Dept. of Energy, to name a few, have awarded large grants to universities and other organizations to implement math and science teacher recruitment programs and prepare them to deliver high quality instruction. &nbsp;These programs vary in terms of their target populations (high school students, undergraduates, graduates, or career changers), the type and frequency of the early teaching experience provided, the academic and financial support systems, and the public relations campaigns regarding the rewarding aspects of becoming a science or mathematics teacher.</span></span><span class="apple-converted-space"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></span><span class="s2"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">Given the urgency of the national math and science teacher shortage and the high cost of these programs, examining their impact is critical. In this paper, we present findings from three years efforts of a science and mathematics teachers recruitment program</span></span><span class="apple-converted-space"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></span><span class="s2"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">to start mapping the landscape</span></span><span class="apple-converted-space"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></span><span class="s2"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">of teacher recruitment.</span></span><span class="apple-converted-space"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></span><span class="s2"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">Our discussion and implications suggest that…</span></span><span class="apple-converted-space"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></span><span class="s2"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">program’s</span></span><span class="apple-converted-space"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">&nbsp;</span></span><span class="s2"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 150%; color: black;">focus was on recruiting students at all career levels (direct from high school, transfer from community college, change of major, and career changers).</span></span></p> Kadir Demir, Tugce Gul, Charlene Czerniak Copyright (c) 2019 Kadir Demir 2019-12-31 2019-12-31 5 2 119 137 Growth Rate in CXC STEM Subject Entries: Implications for Meeting the Development Needs of the Caribbean <p class="p1">After years of emphasizing the need to prepare students with skills acquired though the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for the demands of the job market and to support economic development, there is a need to assess the extent to which subject entries for end of secondary school examinations in the Caribbean reflect change in this direction.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>Such an assessment was undertaken by examining the extent to which students are taking STEM clusters of subjects in the May/June Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>It was found that the number and percentage of entries for STEM subjects were higher than those for the overall CSEC subject entries.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>A low rate of positive growth was noted in many clusters of STEM subjects along with periods of negative growth.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>It was concluded that, at best, the growth rate in STEM subject entries was anaemic. In view of the importance of the STEM subjects in preparing secondary school students both for the world of work and for advanced studies that will provide critical advanced skills required in the workforce of the twenty-first century, more effective policy and policy implementation in education must be pursued in the Region to ensure a sharper focus on STEM education at the secondary level.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">&nbsp;</p> Stafford A. Griffith Copyright (c) 2019 Stafford A. Griffith 2019-12-31 2019-12-31 5 2 138 150 Preschool Teachers’ Role in Establishing Joint Action During Children’s Free Inquiry in STEM <p>With science and digitalization emphasized further in the new Swedish preschool curriculum, there is a need to clarify teachers’ role in educating children in and about these areas. In the present study, the Joint Action Theory of Didactics has been used to analyze the didactic game taking place between teachers and children in two preschools during inquiry-based STEM activities, with and without the use of robots during programming. The results highlight different coaching strategies used by the teachers and how these strategies promote the joint actions during children’s STEM inquiry integrating programming and science. Interestingly, the joint action-strategies used by the teachers are similar and independent of whether the programming involves digital tools or not. Such strategies involve establishing a common ground of knowledge in the group and hands-on teaching. Both teachers start with teacher-scaffolded activities that develop into free inquiry and exploration through the children’s own ideas, coached by the teachers on both individual and collaborative levels. The findings add to the discussion about how teachers can coach preschool children’s learning and inquiry of programming and STEM – implications for preschool practice are discussed.</p> Marie Fridberg Andreas Redfors Copyright (c) 2019 Marie Fridberg, Andreas Redfors 2019-12-31 2019-12-31 5 2 151 169 Evaluation Approach: Practice-Focused Middle School Science Modules <p><span style="font-family: 'Noto Sans', -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen-Sans, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential (AMP-IT-UP) </span>is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded K-12 Math &amp; Science Partnership (MSP) project with a goal of promoting math, science, and engineering learning through STEM integration-focused curricula. As part of this project, curriculum writers developed one-week modules providing instruction on a set of STEM practices within the context of the appropriate grade-level content. These STEM practices are Experimental Design, Data Visualization, and Data-Driven Decision Making<em>; </em>the emphasis of each of these practices is, respectively, the collection of data, the representation of data, and the use of data to support complex decision-making. Nine of these one-week modules were created in the science domain, one focused on each practice at grade levels 6, 7, and 8. A parallel set of nine modules in the math domain were also created. In this paper, we will focus on our assessment of the implementation of these modules across four middle schools. We will present our methodology for assessing this complex instructional effort. Data sources included online implementation surveys, teachers’ on-line posts, as well as classroom observations. Findings were triangulated across these multiple data sources to provide detailed insights into curriculum functioning and teacher experiences. We will also provide some results from pre-post assessments of student learning, which were written for a subset of the science modules. Overall, the results indicate positive teacher experiences as well as significant increases in student learning in some modules. Findings from these data sources were used by curriculum developers to inform later iterations of the modules.</p> Sunni Newton Meltem Alemdar Jayma Koval Jessica Gale Sabrina Grossman Stefanie Wind Mike Ryan Marion Usselman Copyright (c) 2019 Sunni Newton, Meltem Alemdar, Jayma Koval, Jessica Gale, Sabrina Grossman, Stefanie Wind, Mike Ryan, Marion Usselman 2019-12-31 2019-12-31 5 2 170 188