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

Abstract: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, focusgroups 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.

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