UPPER-SECONDARY SCHOOL SCIENCE TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE INTEGRATING MECHANISMS AND IMPORTANCE OF STEM EDUCATION
Authors: Eman A. AlMuraie, Norah A. Algarni, Nidhal Sh. Alahmad
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This study aimed to recognize upper-secondary school science teachers’ perceptions of the meaning, importance, and integrating mechanisms of science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) education, taking in to account the differences between the science teachers’ perceptions according to their specialties, years of experience, and degrees. A closed-ended questionnaire was distributed among 700 science teachers (biology, physics, and chemistry) in Riyadh, and 255 teachers responded. The results showed a strong alignment in the upper-secondary school science teachers’ perceptions of the meaning and the importance of STEM education, although there was less of a consensus regarding the integrating mechanisms. There were statistically significant differences in the physics teachers’ perceptions of STEM meaning, although there were otherwise no significant differences by specialty in the science teachers’ perceptions of the importance of STEM education and its integration mechanisms. Furthermore, the teachers showed no statistically significant differences in STEM’s meaning, importance, or integrating mechanisms according to their years of experience. Based on the results, recommendations included intensifying professional development programs on utilizing technology, engineering, and mathematics in learning science concepts and application.