Open Access Repository

Building STEM in schools: an Australian cross-case analysis

Falloon, G, Stevenson, M, Beswick, K ORCID: 0000-0002-0224-5648, Fraser, S ORCID: 0000-0002-0766-4892 and Geiger, V 2021 , 'Building STEM in schools: an Australian cross-case analysis' , Educational Technology and Society, vol. 24, no. 4 , pp. 110-122 .

PDF (Published version)
144246 - Buildi...pdf | Download (496kB)

| Preview


The Principals as STEM Leaders (PASL) project was an Australian Government-funded national research and professional learning programme for principals, aimed at building STEM leadership capacity. The project involved cluster-based delivery of six learning modules and generation of case studies outlining schools’ different approaches to STEM education and STEM leadership. This article analyses factors contributing to the development of four contrasting schools’ STEM profiles, identifying the unique approaches and leadership strategies each adopted in designing STEM curriculum for meeting the learning needs of their diverse students. It positions these schools’ endeavours within the broader PASL professional learning programme, adding to the limited body of empirical work detailing different approaches schools take to the ‘STEM challenge’, which, for most, presents a disruptive innovation to traditional curriculum and structures. The vital role of school leaders in communicating a clear, evidence-based vision for STEM and also ‘walking the talk’ and being highly engaged in STEM programmes, was a common feature across the cases. This built relational trust, and a strong whole-of-school commitment to and understanding of STEM, to some extent mitigating the challenges of rigid curriculum and external assessment requirements. The study highlights the complex interaction of professional learning, leadership, curriculum design, pedagogy, and school culture in establishing innovative STEM programmes in schools.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Falloon, G and Stevenson, M and Beswick, K and Fraser, S and Geiger, V
Keywords: STEM education, case study, school leadership, principal, curriculum, school change, innovation, professional learning
Journal or Publication Title: Educational Technology and Society
Publisher: International Forum of Educational Technology & Society
ISSN: 1436-4522
Copyright Information:

© 2021 Elsevier B.V.. This article of the journal of Educational Technology & Society is available under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 license (

Related URLs:
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page