Integrating arts into STEM curriculum design to reduce teacher anxiety

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Arts in Education
Title Integrating arts into STEM curriculum design to reduce teacher anxiety
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Due to the ever changing global economy and the increasing need to address issues such
as climate change, pollution, and natural resources it is imperative that our students today
become well versed in science, technology, engineering, and, mathematics (STEM).
Research shows that American students fall far behind their counterparts in other
developed nations and students interested in STEM careers falls short of the growing
need. Unfortunately, many elementary teachers feel anxious or unprepared to teach
STEM curriculum. This graduate project looks at some of the concerns, such as math and
science anxiety, that teachers at one school may experience. The project suggests that arts
integration, turning STEM into STEAM, may be one method that teachers find engaging.
The project details the development of a five week arts integrated STEM unit of
instruction developed around the theme of sea turtles and the ocean. The unit integrates
standards from Common Core ELA and math, Next Generation Science Standards
(NGSS), and Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA). The project also addresses concerns
teachers have expressed regarding the lack of engaging and meaningful professional
development received through the district. The project details a two hour professional
development (P.D.) that informs teachers about STEM and demonstrates best practices
and pedagogy. In an attempt to promote continued growth the project finally suggests
creating a professional learning community (PLC).

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