Anxiety and Self-Efficacy in STEM Education: A Scoping Review


  • Emma Christensen Engineering, University College Absalon, Denmark
  • Libby Elizabeth Osgood Sustainable Design Engineering, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada



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.


Received: 10 October 2023 | Revised: 7 November 2023 | Accepted: 17 November 2023


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest to this work.


Data Availability Statement

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no new data were created or analyzed in this study.




How to Cite

Christensen, E., & Osgood, L. E. (2023). Anxiety and Self-Efficacy in STEM Education: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Changes in Education, 1(1), 41–50.