Integrative STEM Education
(Ed.S.in Curriculum and Instruction)
Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus
Virginia Tech Online (Virtual)
Instructions: Residential/On Campus
Online Courses for VIrtual Option
Expand your understanding of Integrative STEM Education as you research curricular connections and integrative strategies for design based teaching and learning of STEM content and practices.
Hours of Integrative STEM Education Core Courses
Intensive Research Opportunities
Our Education Specialist in Integrative STEM Education
A program for those holding master’s degrees in education and STEM fields that develops STEM educators, leaders, and scholars for the 21st century. Scholar/practitioners in this program expand their understanding of integrative STEM/STEM education, investigate curricular connections among the STEM subject areas, and apply integrative strategies to the design of instructional materials for teaching and learning STEM concepts. In this program, we emphasize the interconnectedness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines as we help our students explore teaching and learning methods. Real-world problems are rarely limited to a single school subject, and, as educators, we must help our students develop the ability to transfer skills and knowledge among subjects. This holistic and integrative approach to teaching and learning is both more effective and more fun, for both teachers and students alike.
Why Study Integrative STEM Education Here?
What makes Virginia Tech's Integrative STEM Education program different from other S.T.E.M. programs is our emphasis on the integrative approach and the connections among the subjects. We have found that framing problems in terms of a design-based challenge provide an excellent springboard for such investigations. For example, challenging students to design a prototype power source for an off-grid hospital location would lead to (student-directed!) investigations of weather, climate, and electricity; solar- and wind-based technologies; material properties and specifications; and calculations of area and speed. Placing these concepts in a relevant context helps students see the immediate value of what they are learning, while they are constantly practicing their 21st-century skills of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.
What You’ll Study
The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is designed for students who already hold a Master's Degree in education or STEM fields. The Ed.S. program will help you build on your existing knowledge and experience as you expand your understanding of STEM education through explorations of integrative strategies for teaching STEM concepts, often through design-based and transdisciplinary challenges.
Integrative STEM Education Core Courses (15+ SH)
- EDCI 5804: STEM Education Foundations (3 SH – Fall Semester)
- EDCI 5814: STEM Education Pedagogy (3 SH – Fall Semester)
- EDCI 5824: STEM Education Trends and Issues (3 SH – Spring Semester)
- EDCI 5834: STEM Education Research (3 SH – Alternate Spring Semesters)
- EDCI 5844: STEM Education Seminar (3 SH – Fall and Spring Semesters)
- EDCI 5854: Biotechnology Literacy by Design (3 SH – Alternate Spring Semesters)
- EDCI 5774: Readings in STEM Education (3 SH – Fall and Spring Semesters)
- EDCI 5964: Field Studies in [I-STEM] Education (3 SH – Fall and Spring Semesters)
Research & Evaluation (6+ SH, including EDCI 5834 above)
- EDRE 6605: Quantitative Research Methods in Education (3 SH), Or,
- EDRE 6504: Qualitative Research Methods in Education (3 SH)
Educational Foundations (6+ SH, including EDCI 5804 above)
Educational Foundations Elective (3 SH)
Field Study / Project (3+ SH)
EDCI 7964: Field Studies in [I-STEM] Education (3 SH)
Cognate (3+ SH)
Courses outside the SOE, including: STS; STEM content area courses; Engineering Ed; etc.
Career and Professional Development
Graduates of the Virginia Tech Integrative STEM Education program are among the most sought after professionals in higher education.
The School of Education provides students with a plethora of research opportunities, including experimental and observational research, field research, and secondary data analysis. Graduate students are also encouraged to lead research projects and publish in scholarly journals. The school provides support for professional development to participate in conferences through travel grants. Additional professional development and research support resources are provided by the Graduate School at Virginia Tech.
This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center.
- The cognitive demands addressed through technological and engineering design-based teaching and learning
- Instructional strategies for design-based biotechnology literacy
- Integrative pedagogical practices among STEM education areas
- Instructional Design and Technology
- K-12 teacher professional development in engineering education
- Design and implementation of project-based classroom activities
Integrative STEM Education Research Highlights
Bowen, B. D., & Peterson, B. (2019). Exploring authenticity through an engineering-based context in a project-based learning mathematics activity. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, 9(1), 1-10.
Bowen, B. D., & Shume, T. (2018). Educators in industry: An exploratory study to determine how teacher externships influence k-12 classroom practices. Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, 19(1), 5-10.
Bowen, B. D., Peterson, B., & DeLuca, V. W. (2018). The Impact of Content Knowledge on Performance Outcomes for Middle School Students in a Design-Based Simulation Environment. CTETE Refereed Paper at the Annual Proceedings of the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, Atlanta, GA.
Gero, J., Yu, R., & Wells, J. (2019). The effect of design education on creative design cognition of high school students. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, DOI: 10.1080/21650349.2019.1628664.
Love, T. & Wells, J. (2017). Examining correlations between preparation experiences of U.S. technology and engineering educators and their teaching of science content and practices. International Journal of Technology and Design Education Online First. doi: 10.1007/s10798-017-9395-2.
Shanta, S. & Wells, J. (2018). Investigating T/E design based learning: Student ability to select and utilize STEM content and practices. Proceedings of the 36 th Pupils Attitudes Toward Technology Conference, pp.246-255. Technology Education Research Group, Athlone Institute of Technology, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. [http://terg.ie/index.php/patt36-proceedings/]
Wells, John G. (2019). STEM education: The potential of technology education. Chapter 10, in Daugherty, M. & Carter, V. (Eds.), The Most Influential Papers Presented at the Mississippi Valley Technology Teacher Education Conference. Council on Technology and Engineering Teacher Education, 62 nd Yearbook (pp. 195-229), Ball State University, Muncie, IN. Peer Reviewed. Available: http://ctete.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-CTETE-Yearbook-Mississippi-Valley-Conference-21st-Century.pdf
Wells, J. (2017). Design to Understand: Promoting higher order thinking through T/E design based learning. Proceedings of the Technology Education New Zealand and International Conference on Technology Education-Asia Pacific, pp.325-339. TEMS Education Research Center, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
Wells, John G., (2016). Efficacy of the technological/engineering design approach: Imposed cognitive demands within design based biotechnology instruction. Journal of Technology Education, 27(2), 4-20.
Wells, John G., (2016). PIRPOSAL Model of Integrative STEM Education: Conceptual and Pedagogical Framework for Classroom Implementation. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 75(6), 12-19.
- STEMbot: Design Based Biotechnical Learning
- Research In Engineering Education [RiEE] – K-12 Assessment of Design Cognition
- Integrative STEM Education: U.S & Zimbabwe Collaboratory [Virginia Tech/Hampton University (U.S.) & NUST/Hillside (Zimbabwe)]
- Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA)
- Engineering By Design [EbD]
Students interested in applying to the Integrative STEM Education (Ed.S.) degree should contact the program director, Dr. John Wells, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit our office at the Public Safety Building Suite 201 (0313), 330 Sterrett Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Spring: January 1
Summer: May 1
*Fall: August 1
Spring: September 1
Summer: January 1
*Fall: April 1
*Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall: March 1.