Analysis of Interdisciplinary STEM Lessons Generated by Pre-Service and Inservice Teachers in the United States

Mónica Arnal-Palacián, Janelle M. Johnson


This study views STEM as a space with the potential to dismantle the narrow disciplinary silos that have led to inequitable gaps in achievement. Responding to the latest recommendations for teachers from NCTM and NSTA, this study aims to examine the instructional design of secondary mathematics and science pre-service teachers in an interdisciplinary STEM lesson about a pandemic. Starting with two images, teachers are asked to design the associated activities that they would implement in the classroom. Researchers utilized a qualitative methodology based on the categories of the 5E Model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate. The findings highlight responses to each of the 5E factors are very mixed. Teaching strategies consisting of posing questions predominate, promoting the Engage factor; while the Explore factor is barely considered, which could hinder the incorporation of group skills and critical thinking. This study offers a pathway on how to assess the professional learning of novice teachers following the 5E model through a contextualized activity with bacterial growth.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Mónica Arnal-Palacián, Janelle M. Johnson

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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