Date of Award

8-12-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education

Department

Education

Major Advisor

Dr. Kristin Cook

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah B. Bush

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Dinkins

Abstract

Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) is an avenue through which engagement in elementary science and mathematics can deepen in line with reform documents (Bush & Cook, 2018; Bush & Cook, 2019; Quigley & Herro, 2016). This formative and design experimental (Reinking & Bradley, 2008) study explored how, in a STEAM Lab context, curriculum intentionally made more imaginative through the use of a set of cognitive tools (Hadzigeorgiou, Klassen & Klassen, 2011) might result in Romantic Understanding of elementary science and mathematics content. Three research questions guided the research: 1) In what ways does STEAM curriculum connect to Romantic Understanding of elementary science and mathematics?; 2) How does STEAM curriculum modified to achieve Romantic Understanding impact student experiences in elementary science and mathematics?; and, 3) How does STEAM curriculum modified to achieve Romantic Understanding impact teacher experiences in elementary science and mathematics?

Several themes emerged from patterns in the data: First, analyses of iterations of the lessons in the curriculum highlighted the ways a teacher navigates and balances wonder, standards and content. Next, curriculum examples demonstrated the power of including student insights. Finally, patterns showed how humanization is revealed through engagement with empathy. The experiences of students showed sustained wonder through engagement with the heroic characteristics of figures in science and mathematics. The teacher’s experiences showed new attitudes in 21st century learning, technology and careers related to STEM, a propensity towards storytelling and the challenges and potential of pursuing integrated and imaginative learning separately and together.

Available for download on Thursday, July 01, 2021

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