Enablers and Constraints of STEM Programme Implementation : an External Change Agent Perspective from a National STEM Programme in Finland
Mäkelä, T., Tuhkala, A., Mäki-Kuutti, M., & Rautopuro, J. (2023). Enablers and Constraints of STEM Programme Implementation : an External Change Agent Perspective from a National STEM Programme in Finland. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 21(3), 969-991. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-022-10271-9
© 2022 the Authors
An international need exists for effective programmes that will enhance learners’ interest in studies and careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, i.e. STEM. When considering the impact of STEM programmes, it is important to identify what can enable or constrain effective programme implementation. As such, enablers can be systematically supported and constraints tackled to maximise a programme’s impact. This study considers a nationwide STEM programme in Finland that involved 450 teachers and their learning communities. The study followed an interpretative paradigm, collecting data through semi-structured interviews and analysed with data-driven thematic analysis. The study participants were 14 external change agents operating between participating learning communities and the national programme administration and, thus, had a valuable overview on how the programme evolved. The most important enablers of effective programme implementation were versatile support, programme flexibility and long-term vision. Two major constraints were limited resources and collaboration challenges. Considering the findings of this study can help design effective STEM programmes by providing various support mechanisms for educators, particularly scaffolding; peer and school administrator support; flexibility to enable embedding activities and adapting programme objectives to participants’ everyday work; long-term vision to support both lifelong learning and a continuum between diferent STEM programmes; sufficient time and economic resources to achieve a long-term impact; and collaboration and networking opportunities at the local, regional, national and international levels. ...
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Additional information about fundingOpen Access funding provided by University of Jyväskylä (JYU). This evaluation study was part of the LUMA2020 programme (2019–2020) funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland.
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