Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Helen Crompton

Committee Member

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

Stephen Burgin

Committee Member

Mary Enderson


This study utilized design-based research (DBR) to develop an empirically substantiated local instruction theory about the use of self-assessment and reflection in creating and assessing integrative STEM lessons. The research goals that guided this study are:

1. Determine the initial STEM self-efficacy level for the study's participants. 2. Utilize theories of reflection and self-assessment to create an instrument for preparing and assessing an integrative STEM lesson. 3. Refine the instrument through two Design-Based Research macro cycles to ensure appropriate content and applicability for use in a K-2 elementary classroom.

A conjectured local instruction theory was developed through the study's literature review. A reflective and self-assessment practice instrument that embodied this local instruction theory was then created. It was conjectured that teachers who undergo self-assessment and reflection are better able to create and assess their integrative STEM lessons. Therefore, the study's instrument was used to guide teachers through self-assessment and reflection of their integrative STEM lessons during their initial planning, active teaching, and post teaching times.

DBR relies on an iterative process where participants of a study assist in the identification of relevant contextual factors while aiding and enriching the researchers' understanding of the intervention itself through continuous cycles of design, enactment, analysis and redesign (Cobb, 2001; Design-Based Research Collective, 2003). This process contributes to how teachers can utilize self-assessment and reflection in creating and assessing integrative STEM lessons. The study's instrument was implemented at the same elementary school for the duration of the study.

Findings indicate that the use of self-assessment and reflection helped study participants create, assess, and even improve their integrative STEM lessons. In addition, study findings appear to indicate improved teacher self-efficacy beliefs upon implementing the study's instrument. A revised local instruction theory is presented as result of the findings from this study in Chapter 4.


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