Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Preparing Historically Underserved Students for STEM Careers: The Role of an Inquiry-based High School Science Sequence Beginning with Physics
by Bridges, Jon P., Ed.D., Portland State University, 2017, 139; 10272772
Abstract (Summary)

Improving the STEM readiness of students from historically underserved groups is a moral and economic imperative requiring greater attention and effort than has been shown to date. The current literature suggests a high school science sequence beginning with physics and centered on developing conceptual understanding, using inquiry labs and modeling to allow students to explore new ideas, and addressing and correcting student misconceptions can increase student interest in and preparation for STEM careers.

The purpose of this study was to determine if the science college readiness of historically underserved students can be improved by implementing an inquiry-based high school science sequence comprised of coursework in physics, chemistry, and biology for every student. The study used a retrospective cohort observational design to address the primary research question: are there differences between historically underserved students completing a Physics First science sequence and their peers completing a traditional science sequence in 1) science college-readiness test scores, 2) rates of science college-and career-readiness, and 3) interest in STEM? Small positive effects were found for all three outcomes for historically underserved students in the Physics First sequence.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Burk, Pat
Commitee: Becker, Bill, Kelley, Sybil, Peterson, Deborah
School: Portland State University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Science education
Keywords: Historically underserved students, Opportunity to learn, Physics first, Science college-readiness, Scientific inquiry, Stem interest
Publication Number: 10272772
ISBN: 9780355055948
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