Future Primary Teachers’ Beliefs, Understandings and Intentions to Teach STEM

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Authors: Premnadh M. Kurup, Michael Brown, Greg Powell & Xia Li, La Trobe University, Australia
E-mail: [email protected]
Published: August 16, 2017

Citation: Kurup, P. M., Brown, M., Powell, G., & Li, X. (2017). Future Primary Teachers’ Beliefs, Understandings and Intentions to Teach STEM. IAFOR Journal of Education, 5(SI). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.si.07


The development of integrated skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are necessary in order to deal with challenging complex situations and should be developed from primary school. It is expected that early experiences can influence and foster a deep and ongoing interest in STEM. In order to provide these early experiences in their future classrooms, preservice teachers need subject matter knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and expertise to innovate and deal with STEM in their own future classrooms This research focused on the beliefs and understandings preservice primary teachers (n=119) have about teaching and to what extent they are prepared to teach STEM subjects in primary schools. A questionnaire based on the position paper on STEM issued by the Australian Office of the Chief Scientist (Prinsley & Johnston, 2015) and guided by the theory of reasoned action was used as the basis of this study. The data was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. The results suggest the preservice teachers in this study believed there should be STEM in the curriculum, but they were not confident in their ability to teach STEM without more professional preparation and development.


STEM education, preservice teacher education, primary school, STEM