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Student and teacher attitudes, experiences, and perceptions of integrated inquiry-powered design-based STEM units

Richard D Powers, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation is an exploratory account of the complex phenomena that occurred in my classroom when I engaged students in a curricular approach that blended the innovation of inquiry-powered project-based experiences within the context of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content knowledge. The research focuses on how the use of learning theory, i.e., constructionism, can be used in the classroom to support a content-integrated instructional method. The construction of a single exploratory case study was employed to understand what the teacher and students experienced during these units and if the students would be engaged and motivated. The results indicated that: (a) students had positive attitudes towards units, (b) were motivated to complete artifacts, (c) design was more motivating to students than experimentation, (d) competition was the most motivating about designing artifacts, and (e) female students were more motivated by creativity than competition. This study is a descriptive and informative roadmap for teachers, curriculum designers, science consultants, teacher education professionals and professional development providers who want to implement national science and engineering education standards (Next Generation Science Standards) and find ways to integrate scientific and engineering practices with content.

Subject Area

Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Powers, Richard D, "Student and teacher attitudes, experiences, and perceptions of integrated inquiry-powered design-based STEM units" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3689730.