Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

Michael F. Kosloski

Committee Member

Cherng-Jyh Yen


Education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has become widely promoted in recent years. Quality STEM education could maintain or increase the number of individuals preparing for careers in these fields and increase STEM literacy for the population. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) education has always used science to improve home life while reinforcing technology, engineering, and mathematics principles through hands on, relevant learning activities in the classroom. However, it is not usually recognized as a STEM subject. The purpose of this study was to determine what factors may affect FCS teachers’ level of self-efficacy in teaching STEM education in order to provide supports that improve teaching practices. This quantitative study surveyed middle and high school FCS teachers in Pennsylvania using the T-STEM Survey for Elementary Teachers. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis. The first research question explored the level of self-efficacy of FCS teachers regarding teaching STEM concepts. The second research question explored how each of the teacher demographic variables respectively predict the level of self-efficacy of FCS teachers when teaching STEM concepts. The five independent teacher demographic variables were participation in FCCLA, number of STEM courses taken, education level, number of years in teaching, and gender. Overall, FCS teachers scored highest in 21st century learning attitudes and lowest in STEM instruction. The results indicated that the independent variable number of STEM courses taken was a significant predictor of 21st century learning attitudes (β= .02, SE = .01, p = .019).


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Copyright, 2022, by Charlene Wirfel Smith, All Rights Reserved.