This mixed-methods case study examined two out-of-school (OST) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs at a science-oriented high school on students’ Self-Efficacy. Because STEM is a key for future innovation and economic growth, Americans have been developing a variety of approaches to increase student interest in science within the school curriculum and in OST programs. Nationwide, many OST programs are offered for students but few have engaged in an in-depth assessment.
This study included an assessment of two different types of OST programs and direct observations by the researcher. This study involved two advisors (one male, one female), 111 students, and their parents during 2016. Student participants completed two standardized surveys, one to determine their Science Self-Efficacy and another to assess their engagement in science during their OST programs. Parents described their parental involvement and their child’s interest in the OST program(s). The OST program advisors participated in lengthy interviews. Additionally, the advisors rated their perceived interest level of the enrolled students and recorded attendance data.
Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (1997a) provided the theoretical framework. This theory describes the multidirectional influence of behavioral factors, personal factors, and environmental factors have on a student’s Self-Efficacy. Compiled data from the teachers, students, and parents were used to determine the relationship of selected variables on Science Self-Efficacy of students. A correlational analysis revealed that students who participated in these OST programs possessed a high Mindset for the Enjoyment of science and that teacher ratings were also positively correlated to Mindset and Enjoyment of Science. Descriptive analyses showed that (a) girls who chose to participate in these OST programs possessed higher school grades in their in-school coursework than boys, (b) that parents of girls participated in more parental activities, and (c) the teachers rated student’s interest in the science OST programs as high. Student comments on the survey and the qualitative analysis by trained coders revealed that success of the program was related to the collaborative and hands-on activities/projects of their OST program. In addition, students felt more involved in projects during after-school and weekend activities than in OST lunch break programs.
|Advisor:||Hiatt-Michael, Diana B.|
|Commitee:||Johnstone, Thomas R., Polin, Linda|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Secondary education, Science education|
|Keywords:||After school, Mindset, Out-of-school program, Parent involvement, STEM, Self-efficacy|
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