In today’s classrooms, focus is being placed on teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, simply teaching a lesson is not enough: supplemental resources, such as books, are crucial for students to fully grasp what is being taught. Many teachers do not know what to look for in STEM children's books in order to ensure the books are beneficial and relevant to their students’ learning. This thesis will provide elementary teachers with guidelines and criteria by which to evaluate STEM children’s books. I will sample books from public libraries, such as Taunton, Bridgewater, and Brockton. I am choosing books from public libraries because often teachers use library books to supplement their classroom libraries. I will survey these books for the presence of science, engineering, and mathematical practices in addition to the diversity of the characters and how they interact with one another. The science and engineering practices come from the Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) Framework. The mathematics practices come from the Common Core State Standards Initiative. For the purpose of this research, I defined diversity in children’s books as the presence of characters of diverse ethnicities. Additionally, I defined character interaction as characters behaving in a way students can relate to. This project is important to my field because teachers need to make informed decisions about the books they choose for their classroom. These books impact students on several levels: their interest in the lesson, how excited they are to read, whether or not they look forward to going to school, and how much they learn. Students need to see themselves reflected in the books they read so that they can see themselves working in the STEM fields when they grow up. STEM education is of vital importance to the education of our future scientists and mathematicians who will tackle global issues, so it is important that A Survey of STEM Literature in Elementary School Classrooms teachers are equipped with the tools they need to properly and effectively teach their students in order to build a strong foundation for the rest of their educational career.
Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Dr. Andrea Cayson, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Heather Pacheco-Guffrey, Committee Member
Dr. Jeanne Ingle, Committee Member
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Duhaime, Kaitlyn. (2020). A Survey of STEM Literature in Elementary School Classrooms. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 322. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/322
Copyright © 2020 Kaitlyn Duhaime