The complex nature of equitable STEM instruction : emotion, cognition, and constraints




Welch-Ptak, Jasmine Joy

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Equitable STEM instruction aims to alleviate the perpetual achievement gap by ensuring students have access to multiple opportunities to engage in rich inquiry-based activities and content-specific discourse practices. The three studies in this dissertation explore the complexity inherent to the implementation of such equitable practices in the current high-stakes accountability context. With the first analytic chapter, I seek to draw attention to the negative emotions that emerge during open-ended activity, and the need to identify specific pedagogical practices that can normalize difficulty and persistence as a necessary part of learning. I suggest interested practitioners integrate the straightforward approach I highlight in this chapter into any instructional innovation. However, in my second analytic chapter I present a multi-site case study of the challenges teachers at two distinct school sites report to impede their implementation of curricular innovations. Although the two sites look very different in terms of student and teacher demographics, teachers at both sites report similar challenges to implementation. The third and final, analytic chapter is a quantitative survey analysis I conducted that examines one of the key challenges reported: teacher efficacy. Specifically, my study explores differences in preservice teachers’ teaching efficacy for culturally and linguistically diverse students in STEM contexts based on their pedagogical preparation and personal linguistic background. Findings from the three studies have potential implications for education policy, practice, teacher preparation, and research


LCSH Subject Headings