School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Philip Alsup


Middle School, STEM, Efficacy


Education | Educational Leadership


Little research exists in the attitudes and efficacy of middle school math teachers and science teachers toward Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. STEM education refers to an integrated approach to teaching math and science that incorporates problem solving, problem-based learning, and discovery rather than teaching these disciplines in isolation. Teachers’ efficacy and beliefs, outcome expectancy beliefs, and the use of STEM instructional strategies may vary by discipline. Each of these aspects are important in designing professional learning to meet the teachers’ needs as well as their capacity to implement integrated, problem-based learning into the classroom. Research suggests teacher efficacy and attitude has an impact on the implementation of innovative instructional practice such as those used in STEM education and on student achievement. This quantitative research study follows a causal comparative design to compare mean scores on the Teacher Efficacy and Attitude toward STEM (T-STEM) Survey among two groups of middle school teachers. The two groups are math teachers and science teachers from middle schools that are in the First District Regional Education Association in Georgia. The total sample size was 136 participants. A Mann-Whitney U test was conducted as an analysis to determine if there is a difference between the efficacy and beliefs toward STEM of middle school math teachers and science teachers. The data collected did not reflect any statistically significant differences between the personal teaching efficacy and beliefs, teacher outcome expectancy beliefs, and use of STEM instructional practices between middle school math and science teachers.