Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Members

Dr. Eric Glover, Dr. Virginia Foley, Dr. Donald Good, Dr. Aimee Govett


A quantitative nonexperimental survey study was developed to investigate Northeast Tennessee K-8 educators’ perceptions of STEM education. This study was an examination of current perceptions of STEM education. Perceived need, current implementation practices, access to STEM resources, definition of STEM, and the current condition of STEM in Northeast Tennessee were also examined. The participating school districts are located in the Northeast Region of Tennessee: Bristol City Schools, Hamblen County Schools, Johnson City Schools, Johnson County Schools, Kingsport City Schools, Sullivan County Schools, and Washington County Schools. Educational professionals including both administrators and teachers in the elementary and/or middle school setting were surveyed.

The closed and open form survey consisted of 20 research items grouped by 5 core research questions. Quantitative data were analyzed using single sample t tests. A 4 point Likert scale was used to measure responses with a 2.5 point of neutrality rating. The open-ended question was summarized and recorded for frequency.

Research indicated that Northeast Tennessee K-8 educators perceive a need for STEM education to a significant extent. However, many do not feel prepared for implementation. Lack of professional development opportunities and STEM assets were reported as areas of need. Teachers reported implementation of inquiry-based, problem solving activities in their classrooms. The majority of participants reported that the current condition of STEM education in Northeast Tennessee is not meeting the needs of 21st century learners. Challenges facing STEM instruction include: funding designated for STEM is too low, professional development for STEM teacher is insufficient, and STEM Education in K-8 is lacking or inadequate.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.