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Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : Jane Batham

Developing Positive STEM Mindsets for Primary School Teachers
19 APR 2023
9.30 AM - 11.00 AM
Primary school teachers can significantly influence children's early perception of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The high prevalence of STEM-related anxieties and limited appreciation of STEM among primary school teachers lead to negative perceptions, particularly for girls, that persist beyond early education and can impact attainment and future engagement in STEM. Consequently, supporting primary school teachers to develop positive mindsets towards STEM is critical in supporting the dual goals of STEM education to provide STEM understanding for all students and to encourage more students to follow related career paths.

Through a narrative inquiry approach, this research explores how primary school teachers develop more positive mindsets towards STEM and STEM education. Primary school teachers beginning to implement integrated STEM will be purposively selected for the study. Using the concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) as a framework, the transformation journey from negative perceptions to more positive STEM mindsets will be described, highlighting critical moments and experiences that have inspired change in beliefs and attitudes towards STEM. A deeper understanding of how some teachers have overcome mindset barriers towards STEM will assist schools and governing bodies to better support teachers in developing productive STEM Mindsets.

The overarching question of the proposed research is: 
-           How have primary school teachers changed mindsets about STEM?

To answer the overarching question, the following sub-questions will be addressed:
-           How do primary school teachers conceptualise STEM mindsets?
-           What barriers and enablers do teachers perceive to implementing STEM education?
-           Which experiences have inspired change in teachers' STEM mindsets?

For more information, please email the Graduate Research School or phone 0746 311 088.