K To 12 Students’ Journey in and Out of Stem: Some Experiences to Share

Marisol D. Andrada1, Adonis P. David, Ph.D.2
DepEd, Iriga City1, Philippine Normal University,
Manila, Philippines1,2

DOI: https://doi.org/10.54476/iimrj317




Despite reforms, policies, and initiatives implemented worldwide to increase STEM students’ interest, attrition is a problem that beset Science education and STEM-related workforce. In the Philippines, the first K to 12 Senior High School (SHS) entrants in 2016-2017 who enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and graduated in April 2018 did not all continue to STEMrelated courses in college. Henceforth, this qualitative study used a phenomenological approach purported to describe and give meaning to the lived experiences of the first K to 12 STEM graduates who opted for non-STEM field courses in college. The study employed a purposive selection of the 10 K to 12 STEM graduates for an in-depth interview. A model labeled Follow Through model describes the participants’ narration of their experiences from the STEM strand to non-STEM field course. The model conceptualized under three emergent themes Going in (why the students chose STEM track/strand), Going out (coping mechanisms and reasons for leaving STEM), and Going On (students’ life after leaving STEM). The study results showed that socioeconomic factors, personal goals, and interactions with people around them impact the K to 12 students’ beliefs, behaviors, and experiences in choosing STEM. All-encompassing curriculum implementation policies must be clear and appropriately implemented to avoid wasting money, time, and effort.

Keywords: K to 12 Curriculum, STEM Education, Follow through model, Phenomenology

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