Instructional and career guidance in STEM: an improvement initiative to create opportunities for female high school students

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Aaron Heath Belcher (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Robert Crow

Abstract: The purpose of this disquisition is to disseminate an improvement initiative in a public high school that addressed female Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disparity in STEM classes. In this high school current instructional and career guidance practices were inadequate in providing female STEM students opportunities to experience relevant instruction in STEM through the application of real world practices. The improvement initiative identified four interventions using qualitative research that addressed the question, how do instructional and career guidance practices that emphasize the real world application of STEM impact the academic choices and career aspirations of female STEM students? The interventions include (1) instructional feedback (2) instructional resources, (3) career coaching, and (4) community college partnership. These interventions were chosen as a result of insider research methods that followed a scan, focus, summarize framework for understanding the problem. The aim of the improvement initiative was to develop structured protocols that impact STEM classroom and career guidance practices. An intervention team intended to identify opportunities for female STEM students to experience the real world application of STEM. First, the research context is explained. Then, a review of the literature explains foundation knowledge that led to the conceptual and leadership framework. Next, the research methodology is outlined including design and participants, survey instruments, procedures, timeline, and measures. The research methodology is followed by an analysis of data for instructional and career guidance practice efficacy. Finally, a discussion of the initiative and its outcome are illustrated through the stories of three female STEM students. As a result of these stories, the intervention team developed STEM classroom observation protocols. These protocols can be used by school leaders as a structure for STEM instruction and career guidance.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Lincolnton High School (Lincolnton, N.C.)
Girls -- Education -- North Carolina -- Lincolnton
Science -- Study and teaching -- North Carolina -- Lincolnton
Technology -- Study and teaching -- North Carolina -- Lincolnton
Engineering -- Study and teaching -- North Carolina -- Lincolnton
Mathematics -- Study and teaching -- North Carolina -- Lincolnton
School improvement programs -- North Carolina -- Lincolnton

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