An Inquiry into the K to 12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Students’ Persistence
Marisol D. Andrada1, Arlyne C. Marasigan, Phd2
DepEd, Iriga City1, Philippine Normal University, Manila, Philippines1,2
Due to the unprecedented change in science and technological advancement, strengthening of STEM Education in the Philippines becomes an important goal under the K to 12 Curriculum aimed to produce 21st century and globally competitive learners. The educational reform was implemented even in rural areas to lessen inequalities and poverty in consonance with Education for All (EFA) and Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Senior high school (SHS) students can take STEM strand towards STEMrelated careers without going into Science high schools or universities. However, very few students are opting for STEM because of grade requirements and negative perceptions towards STEM. Those who enrolled failed to finish and graduate as STEM students. Hence, this study aimed to explore the factors that contributed to the persistence in STEM of selected SHS students. The study utilized a purposive selection of the seven participants (n=7) who are among the first successful STEM graduates under the K to 12 Curriculum in 2018. The participants underwent a one-on-one in-depth interview. Transcription, coding, and thematic analysis were employed to arrive at the insightful narration of their lived experiences as STEM students. Based on the results gathered, the factors that contributed to the persistence of the SHS students are self-efficacy and social support. The result of the study provides sound evidence that cognitive, affective, and psychosocial support from parents, family, peers, teachers, and school are essential for students’ success. Students should have the freedom to choose the track/strand they wanted to pursue. School authorities must provide relevant activities that could strengthen STEM initiatives and implementation among SHS students.
Keywords: STEM Education, Persistence, phenomenological study, K to 12 Curriculum, Philippines