Understanding Science Teachers’ Implementations of Integrated STEM: Teacher Perceptions and Practice
This study examines how science teachers experience integrating science, technology, en-gineering, and mathematics (STEM) approaches into their teaching. In addition, it further examines the encountered challenges in this regard to shed light on STEM current practices within the context of United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study consists of two stages; the first involved collecting qualitative data using semi-structured interviews to explore three science teachers’ perceptions and lived experiences having infused STEM into their regular teaching in cycle 2 for more than two years. Quantitative data were collected and analyzed in the second phase via the developed closed-ended questionnaire to examine teachers’ perceptions across a larger sample regarding “challenges encountered by teachers when implementing STEM teaching”. Research findings showed that science teachers generally have a positive attitude towards using STEM-based activities. In addition, data revealed that participants implement integrated STEM into their teaching frequently and reg-ularly. Results also indicated teachers encounter challenges while implementing STEM: documen-tation, the vast curriculum content, and lack of time. Moreover, external challenges (i.e., the lack of supportive guidelines) rather than teachers’ competency (i.e., having sufficient knowledge and skills for implementing STEM teaching) appeared to have the highest impending impact. Finally, we discuss findings and presented implications for teachers, educators, and policymakers.