Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Marshall, Jeff C

Committee Member

Horton, Robert

Committee Member

Cook, Michelle

Committee Member

Benson, Lisa

Abstract

Although current research exists on school culture, there is a gap in the literature on specialized aspects of culture such as STEM Culture defined as the beliefs, values, practices, resources, and challenges in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) within a school. The objective of this study was to create a valid and reliable instrument, the STEM Culture Assessment Tool (STEM-CAT), that measures this cultural aspect based on a survey of stakeholder groups within the school community and use empirical data to support the use of this instrument to measure STEM Culture. Items were created and face validity was determined through a focus group and expert review before a pilot study was conducted to determine reliability of the items. Once items were determined reliable, the survey was given to eight high schools and results were correlated to the percentage of seniors who self-reported whether they intend to pursue STEM fields upon graduation. The results of this study indicate further need for research to determine how the STEM-CAT correlates to STEM culture due to some inconsistencies with the dependent variable in this study. Future research could be done correlating the results of the STEM-CAT with participation in Advanced Placement science and mathematics, SAT/ACT scores in science and mathematics or the number of students who actually pursue STEM fields rather than a prediction halfway through the 12th grade.

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