June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
23.1279.1 - 23.1279.15
Integrated STEM Education: A Conceptual Framework and Research AgendaReferences to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education haveincreased dramatically in recent years. Documented examples of K-12 STEM educationprograms that effectively integrate the four disciplines are not as common as many assume.Because of the variety of ways integration can occur, claims of greater student achievement andengagement through iSTEM experiences have been difficult to demonstrate empirically. Thefocus of this paper will be a recently completed two-year study examining the current status ofintegrated STEM education (iSTEM) in the United States; the various ways such efforts aredesigned, implemented, and assessed; and the research needed to further define and guideadvances in K-12 iSTEM teaching and learning. This paper will summarize the researchconducted to inform the study’s findings and recommendations, including a comprehensivereview of the literature related to iSTEM education; an analysis of illustrative iSTEM educationinitiatives in both formal and informal settings; and in-depth interviews from a broad spectrum ofSTEM education stakeholders. The paper will also look at a number of questions explored bythe study: How is iSTEM education different than high-quality education in the individualSTEM subjects? What are the conditions most likely to lead to positive outcomes from iSTEMexperiences? Do integrated approaches to STEM education lead to increased student interest,awareness, motivation, and achievement in STEM subjects? Do students who have had aniSTEM experience demonstrate improved college-readiness and are they more likely to considerfurther studies and a potential career in a STEM field? Because many iSTEM educationinitiatives include an engineering design component or attempt to make mathematics and sciencemore relevant through project- or problem-based approaches, this evolving area merits closewatching by engineering educators. With release of Next Generation Science Standards in 2013,there may be increased demand from the K-12 education community for innovative and practicalmethodologies for effectively incorporating engineering concepts and practices into traditionalscience, mathematics, and technology education programs. Having a better understanding of thenature of iSTEM education and what the research says about its impacts can help inform andprepare the engineering education community to contribute constructively to this emergingSTEM education reform.
Heil, D. R., & Pearson, G., & Burger, S. E. (2013, June), Understanding Integrated STEM Education: Report on a National Study Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22664
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