Investigating STEM semantics and perceptions of engineer candidates and pre-service teachers: A mixed method study
This research aims to investigate STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) semantics of engineer candidates and pre-service teachers in depth in regard to different variables and identify their STEM perspectives. The study group consisted of 228 students enrolled in undergraduate programs in a state university in Central Anatolia in Turkey. Explanatory design was used as a mixed method strategy in the study. The survey model as the quantitative component and the case study as the qualitative component was carried out. According to findings obtained in the study,a statistically significant difference was observed between STEM semantics of the undergraduate students and their gender, department and high school types point averages. In the in-depth interviews, it was revealed that participants were partially differentiated in their STEM semantics and STEM perspectives. These differences in the participants’ STEM semantics on their department basis appeared more clearly through VENN diagram in the STEM visualisation part and several recommendations were introduced in order to increase STEM semantics positively.