Journal of Research in STEM Education https://j-stem.net/index.php/jstem <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 https://j-stem.net/index.php/jstem/article/view/89 <p class="p1">In this issue of J-STEM, we have four articles focusing on diverse issues in STEM education.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>Mäkelä, Fenyvesi and Mäki-Kuutti (2020) designed a pedagogical framework for learning environments (LEs) based on feedback from students, teachers, school directors, parents, and STEM professionals. <span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>They recommended considering a wide range of different LE design principles to support multiple ways of teaching and learning, and to develop both subject-related and cross-curricular knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and ethics, instead of focusing on singular design principles.</p> <p class="p1">Hatisaru, Fraser and Beswick (2020) address the effective leadership position and understanding of STEM learning environments. They have drawn on a drawing test called (D-STEM) to investigate school principals’ perceptions of STEM learning. The findings of the research make valuable contributions to different aspects of the STEM learning environment.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Relkin and colleagues explore informal learning experiences with robots and their parents’ support. The focus group of the research constitutes 5-7 ages child and their parents. Findings indicated that parents predominantly used cognitive scaffolding strategies, such as asking questions, offering suggestions, and verbally acknowledging their child’s actions.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Stohlmann (2020) from the University of Nevada, explores the STEM integration for high school mathematics teachers. This article discusses three methods that high school mathematics teachers can utilize for integrated STEM education. Stohlmann emphasized that by focusing on open-ended problems through engineering design challenges, mathematical modeling, and mathematics integrated with technology, high school students are more likely to see mathematics as meaningful and valuable.</p> <p class="p1">Collectively, the articles in this issue of J-STEM make unique contributions to the STEM education literature ranging from early childhood education to teacher recruitment.</p> Mehmet Aydeniz, Gokhan Kaya, Lynn Hodge Copyright (c) 2020 Mehmet Aydeniz, Gokhan Kaya, Lynn Hodge 2020-07-27 2020-07-27 6 1 Developing a Pedagogical Framework and Design Principles for STEM Learning Environment Design https://j-stem.net/index.php/jstem/article/view/74 <p class="p1">The need for effective and attractive learning environments (LEs) for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has been internationally recognized. Additionally, the connection between STEM learning and cross-curricular skills such as creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship has garnered attention. A deep theoretical and empirical understanding is required when designing STEM LEs. In this study, a pedagogical framework for STEM LEs has been developed based on feedback from students, aged 10–18 years old, teachers, school directors, parents, and STEM professionals, and supported by the literature. First, representatives of key stakeholder groups in Belarus, Finland, Germany, Greece, and Spain (total n = 132) were invited to co-design focus group (FG) 1 sessions to collect their wishes related to STEM LEs. The data was collected through an online survey with open-ended questions. The analysis of the data led to the design of the pedagogical framework, which was validated by the same stakeholder groups (total n = 137) in FG2 discussions. The empirically and theoretically grounded framework entails general design principles as well as principles related to ways of teaching and learning, socio-emotional aspects, and cross-curricular skills. Both the results of this study and the previous literature suggest that different pedagogical design principles are highly interrelated. For instance, novel tools and methods, collaborative methods, reflective learning, and entrepreneurial skills may support creativity and innovation, and vice versa. Therefore, instead of focusing on singular design principles, we recommend considering a wide range of different LE design principles to support multiple ways of teaching and learning, and to develop both subject-related and cross-curricular knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and ethics.</p> Tiina Mäkelä Kristof Fenyvesi Matias Mäki-Kuutti Copyright (c) 2020 Tiina Mäkelä, Kristof Fenyvesi, Matias Mäki-Kuutti 2020-06-28 2020-06-28 6 1 1 17 "My Picture is About Opening Up Students' Minds Beyond Our School Gate!" School Principals' Perceptions of STEM Learning Environments https://j-stem.net/index.php/jstem/article/view/79 <p class="p1">The provision of effective leadership in STEM education is essential to support teachers to consider approaches to STEM and to carry them out effectively. Principals’ perceptions of STEM teaching and learning are, therefore, significant. In this paper we report on the perceptions of 21 primary and secondary school principals through their completion of the Draw a STEM Learning Environment Test (D-STEM), assessed through a customised rubric. Findings revealed that the participant principals maintained a diversity of interpretations of STEM learning environments primarily equated to the use of student-centred pedagogies in classrooms. Very few responses depicted and/or described teaching and learning practices anchored in realistic problems, which can enable the integration of individual STEM disciplines, and engage students in the translation of concepts across multiple representations. The use of representational tools remained implicit or was absent in most of the responses. Findings are discussed along with methodological issues, and implications and future research directions are suggested.</p> Vesife Hatisaru Sharon Fraser Kim Beswick Copyright (c) 2020 Vesife Hatisaru, Sharon Fraser, Kim Beswick 2020-06-28 2020-06-28 6 1 18 38 How Parents Support Children’s Informal Learning Experiences with Robots https://j-stem.net/index.php/jstem/article/view/87 <p class="p1">Coding and robotic technologies are becoming more prominent in early childhood STEM education. Parents, who are key facilitators of children’s early educational experiences, are increasingly invited to engage with their children in collaborative robotics activities. Few studies have focused on the ways in which parents support young children’s informal learning experiences involving robots. This paper presents two different approaches to exploring how parents support young children’s engagement. Both studies involve KIBO, a screen-free robot programmed with tangible wooden blocks. The first approach brought together children ages 5-7 with their parents in small groups for 1-2-hour “KIBO Family Day” workshops. Findings from parent surveys (N = 51) indicated that these workshops significantly enhanced families’ interest in coding. Parents also reported engaging as coaches, whereas children engaged as playmates and planners. To further explore the role of parents as coaches, three parent-child dyads were invited to participate in a 20-minute videotaped KIBO play session. Findings indicated that parents predominantly used cognitive scaffolding strategies, such as asking questions, offering suggestions, and verbally acknowledging their child’s actions. Affective and technical scaffolding strategies were used less frequently. Study limitations and implications for practice and future research are discussed.</p> Emily Relkin Madhu Govind Jaclyn Tsiang Marina Bers Copyright (c) 2020 Emily Relkin, Madhu Govind, Jaclyn Tsiang, Marina Bers 2020-06-30 2020-06-30 6 1 39 51 STEM Integration for High School Mathematics Teachers https://j-stem.net/index.php/jstem/article/view/71 <p class="p1">The discipline of mathematics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) integration has not yet been consistently connected in a clear way for a large amount of high school mathematics teacher to implement STEM integration well. In response to this I have proposed a focus on integrated steM education; the integration of STEM subjects with an explicit focus on mathematics. There are benefits to integrated steM education in a mathematics classroom including increased motivation, interest, and achievement for students. Integrated steM integration can also prepare students with the needed proficiencies and knowledge bases to be productive and impactful members of society. This article discusses three methods that high school mathematics teachers can utilize for integrated steM education. By focusing on open-ended problems through engineering design challenges, mathematical modeling, and mathematics integrated with technology high school students are more likely to see mathematics as meaningful and valuable. Examples of each method are discussed along with common instructional elements among the methods.</p> Micah Stohlmann Copyright (c) 2020 Micah Stohlmann 2020-07-27 2020-07-27 6 1 52 63