Anxiety and Self-efficacy in STEM Education
A Scoping Review
Keywords:STEM, anxiety, self-efficacy, scoping review, education, integrated STEM
With the increasing inclusion of STEM activities across the K–12 curriculum, it is vital for educators to understand barriers and resistance to learning each of the elements of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Anxiety and self-efficacy for students and teachers have been identified as causes of STEM avoidance, however this research is not distributed evenly across the elements. Therefore, this study documents potential causes for anxiety of each element, followed by a scoping review for each element of STEM-focused teacher anxiety, one of the major causes of STEM anxiety. The scoping review was guided by PRISMA standards and completed twice: once in ERIC and once in Scopus, with results demonstrating 94%–100% inter-rater reliability. It was found that causes of anxiety differ between the elements, and the scoping review revealed: (1) research on engineering anxiety and i-STEM or integrated STEM is lacking in comparison to the other elements, (2) the term ‘anxiety’ is more established in reference to math than to the other elements, (3) technology appears in research as a tool more often than an area of research, and (4) the timeline of publication dates varies between the elements of STEM. These differences point to the need for more research in the underrepresented elements to develop intervention methods for teachers in order to reduce student attrition rates in STEM education.
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