Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education

STEM practices in Science teacher education curriculum: Perspectives from two secondary school teachers’ colleges in Zimbabwe

Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Volume 4, Issue 2, May 2021, pp. 75-92
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 771 DOWNLOADS: 626 Publication date: 15 May 2021
This study assessed how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is integrated in Science Teacher Education curriculum in Zimbabwe. An exploratory mixed methods research design, within the post-positivist paradigm, was used to guide the collection and analysis of data. Data were sourced from 18 Science teacher educators and 108 final year Science student teachers pooled from two secondary school Teachers’ Colleges through a semi-structured questionnaire, follow-up interviews, focus groups and documents. From the findings, it was evident that although a lot was done to promote STEM literacy in the two colleges, integration of STEM education and practices into the science education curriculum was coincidental rather than planned. Participation in Science exhibitions at local and national level that was common and increased enrolment of teacher candidates in STEM subjects was viewed as major ways to promote the initiative in the Teachers’ Colleges. However, support that targeted a teacher education STEM curriculum and integration/liaison with Engineering and industry was largely found lacking, suggesting the need for practices such as field-trips, work visits and partnerships that foster closer collaboration between colleges, schools, professional scientists and industry.
Industry liaison, Integration, STEM curriculum, STEM education, STEM literacy, Professional scientists.
Mutseekwa, C. (2021). STEM practices in Science teacher education curriculum: Perspectives from two secondary school teachers’ colleges in Zimbabwe. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(2), 75-92.
  1. Akaygun, S., & Aslan-Tutak, F. (2016). STEM images revealing STEM conceptions of pre-service chemistry and mathematics teachers. International Journal in Mathematics’ Science and Technology, 4(1), 56-71.
  2. Anderson, L. (2014) Visiual-spatial ability: Important in STEM, ignored in gifted education. Roeper Review, 36(2), 114-121.
  3. Andree, M., & Hansson, L. (2013). Marketing the ‘Broad line’: Invitations to STEM education in a Swedish recruitment campaign. International Journal of Science Education, 35(1), 147-166.
  4. Behrendt, M., & Franklin, T. (2014). A review of research on school field trips and their value in education.
  5. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 9, 235-245.
  6. Britton, S. A., & Tippins, D. J. (2015). Practice or theory: Situating science teacher preparation within a context of ecojustice philosophy. Research Science Education, 45, 425-443.
  7. CFPSE (2015). Curriculum framework for primary and secondary education. Harare: Government Printers (Zimbabwe).
  8. Cinar, S., Pirasa, N., & Sadoglu, G. P. (2016). Views of science and mathematics pre-service teachers regarding STEM. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4(6), 1479-1487.
  9. Childs, P. E., Flaherty, A., & Limerick I. E. (2016). From laboratory to e-laboratory: On the history of practical work in school science. In I. Melle (Eds.), Science education research and practical work. Conference proceedings of the 23rd Symposium on Chemistry and Science Education, Dortmund, Germany. html
  10. Cooke, A., & Walker, R. (2015). Exploring STEM education through pre-service teacher conceptualisations of mathematics. International Journal in Mathematics and Science Education, 23(3), 35-46.
  11. Coll, R. K., & Taylor, N. (Eds.). (2009). Special issues on scientific literacy. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 4(3), 301-311.
  12. Collins, A., & Gillespie, N. (2009). The continuum of secondary science teacher preparation: Knowledge, questions and recommendations. Sense Publishers.
  13. Creswell, J. W. (2007). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Prentice Hall.
  14. Crippen, K. J., & Archambault, L. (2012). Scaffolded inquiry-based instruction with technology: A signature pedagogy for STEM education. Computers in Schools, 29(1-2), 157-173.
  15. DeBoer, G. E. (2011). The globalization of science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(6), 567-591.
  16. Dhindsa, H. S., & Anderson, O. R. (2004). Using a conceptual change approach to help preservice science teachers reorganise their knowledge structures for constructivist teaching. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 15(1), 63-85.
  17. Feinstein, N. W., & Kirchgasler, K. L. (2015). Sustainability in science education? How the next generation science standards approach sustainability and why it matters. Science Education, 99, 121-144.
  18. Goodwin, A. L., Smith, L., Sauto-Manning, M., Cherevu, R., Tan, M. Y., Reed, R. & Taveras, L. (2014). What should teacher educators be able to know and do? Perspectives from practicing teacher educators. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(4), 284-302.
  19. Guzey, S. S., Moore, T. J. & Harwell, M. (2016). Building up STEM: An analysis of teacher-developed engineering design-based STEM integration curricular materials. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, 6(1).
  20. Guzey, S. S., Harwell, M. & Moore, T. J. (2018). Development of an instrument to assess attitudes towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). School Science and Mathematics, 114(6), 271279.
  21. Hallstrom, J., & Schonborn, K. J. (2019). Models and modelling for authentic education: reinforcing the argument. International Journal of STEM education, 6(22), 1-20.
  22. Hasanah, U. (2020). Key definitions of STEM education: Literature review. Interdisciplinary Journal of
  23. Environmental and Science Education, 16(3), e2217.
  24. Henderson. A. K. (2011). Post- positivism and the pragmatics of leisure research. Leisure Sciences and Interdisciplinary Journal, 33(4), 341-346.
  25. Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2012). Educational research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Allyn and Bacon.
  26. Kelley, T. R., & Knowles, J. G. (2016). A conceptual framework for integrated STEM education. International
  27. Journal of STEM Education, 3(11), 1-11. DOI: 10.1186/s40594-0046-z
  28. Khuyen, N. T., Bien, N. V., Lin, P., & Lin, J. Chang, C. (2020). Measuring teachers’ perceptions to sustain STEM education development. Sustainability, 12, 1531. doi.10.3390/su12041531
  29. Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.
  30. Liu, F. (2020). Addressing STEM in the context of teacher education. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching and Learning, 13(1), 129-134.
  31. Loughran, J. (2014). Professionally developing as a teacher educator. Journal of Teacher Education, 65(4), 271283.
  32. Magnusson, S., Krajcik, J., & Borko, H. (1999). Nature, source and development of pedagogical content knowledge for science teaching. In J. Gess-Newsome & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge. Kluwer.
  33. Magombe, E. (2012). Conducting practical and investigations in science and mathematics. In L. P. Kusure & K.
  34. Basira, (Eds.), Proceedings of the First National Science and Mathematics Teachers’ Conference on
  35. Instruction in science and methematics for the 21st century (pp. 23-34). Bindura, Zimbabwe: Bindura University of Science Education.
  36. Meyer, H., & Jackson, H. (2016). Transforming STEM education through teacher training. University of Cincinnati Press.
  37. Mhakure, D., & Mushaikwa, N. (2014). Science teachers’ indigenous knowledge identities. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(2), 1-12.
  38. Mudavanhu, Y. (2015). Contradictions and tensions in students’ motives of enrolling in a teacher education programme in Zimbabwe. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 3(2), 159-171.
  39. Parker, C. E., Stylinski, C. D., Bonney, C. R., Schillac, R., & McAuliffe, C. (2015). Examining the quality of technology implementation in STEM classrooms: Demonstration of an evaluative framework. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 47(2), 105-121.
  40. Porayska-Pomsta, K. (2016). A1 as a methodology for supporting educational praxis and teacher metacognition.
  41. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 26, 697-700.
  42. Pruitt, S. L. (2014). The next generation science standards: The features and challenges. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25, 145-156.
  43. Rosicka, C. (2016). From concept to classroom: Translating STEM education research into practice. Australian Council for Educational Research.
  44. Ryan, B. A. (2006). Post- positivism approaches to research. In: Researching and writing your thesis: A guide for post graduate students. MACE: Maynooth Adult and Community Education, 12-26.
  45. Semali, L., & Mehta, K. (2012). Science education in Tanzania: Challenges and policy responses. International
  46. Journal of Educational Research, 53, 225-239.
  47. Siew, N. M., Amir, N., & Lu Chong, C. (2015). The perceptions of pre-service and in- service teachers regarding a project-based STEM approach to teaching. Springer Open Journal 4(8), 1-20.
  48. Siregar, N. C., Rosli, R., Maat, A. M., & Capraro, M. M. (2020). The effect of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program on student achievement in mathematics: A meta-analysis. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 15(1), em0549.
  49. Tan, A., & Leong, W. F. (2014). Mapping curriculum innovation in STEM schools to assessment requirements:
  50. Tensions and dilemmas. Theory into Practice, 53(1), 11-17.
  51. Thibaut, L., Ceuppens, S., De Loof, H., De Meester, J., Goovaerts, L., Struyf, A., Boove-de Pauw, J., Deprez, J.,
  52. DeCock, M., Hellinckx, L., Knipprath, H., Langie, G., Struyven, K., van de Velde, D., Van Petegem, P. & Depaepe, F. (2018). Integrated STEM education: A systematic review of instructional practices of secondary education. Journal of STEM Education, 3(1), 1-12.
  53. Thomasian, J. (2011). Building a science, technology, engineering and mathematics education agenda: An update of state actions. NGA Centre for Best Practice: Blackpoint Policy Solutions, LLC.
  54. Tirivanhu, M. S. (2014). Experiences and preparedness of school-based mentors in supervising student teachers on teaching practice in Zimbabwe. British Journal of Education, Society and Behaviuoral Changes, 4(11), 1476-1488.
  55. Vingsle, C. (2014). Formative assessment: Teacher knowledge and skills to make it happen. Licentiate and thesis UMEA Universitet, 15, 1-23.
  56. White, D. W. (2014). What is STEM education and why is it important? Florida Association of Teacher Educators’ Journal, 1(14), 1-9.
  57. Yednak, C. (2016). The lowdown on STEM schools.
  58. Yildiz, S. G., & Ozdemir, A. S. (2015). A content analysis about STEM education. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 14-21.
  59. Zimbabwe School Examinations Council. (2015). Ordinary level syllabus: Physical science (5009).Zimbabwe School Examinations Council.
Creative Commons License