Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Sean Yee


STEM education and integrative STEM education are increasingly popular in the K-12 domain. However, there is not a consensus on their definitions, nor a sufficient amount of instructional support to help teachers that are unfamiliar with these learning approaches. This study examined how an intentionally designed experiential professional development model impacted the application of integrative STEM practices and teachers’ perceptions of this student-centered approach. A qualitative approach allowed for an integration of various perspectives over multiple cycles of professional development, reflection, and application. Data was collected from a focus group discussion, pre- and post- classroom observations, teacher reflection journals, and a post-study Google survey. Results revealed that an intentionally designed PD for integrative STEM education helped transform potential barriers relevant to this learning approach. This led to an increase in teachers’ confidence and competence for integrative STEM applications in the classroom. This study contributes to the existing studies relevant to experiential learning theory applications in education, professional development, and integrative STEM education.


© 2024, Christine Mitchell