Date of Award

Spring 4-24-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Albert Jimenez

Committee Chair

Miyoshi Juergensen

Second Committee Member

Tamela Thomas


This qualitative case study focused on teachers’ perceptions of a Title I suburban inclusive STEM high school (ISHS) in southeastern United States. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the barriers, challenges, and successes teachers encounter in an ISHS. The theoretical framework that informed this study draws on ten critical components of inclusive STEM high schools across three dimensions: design, implementation, and outcomes (Peters-Burton et al., 2014). Interviews, observations, a focus group, and reflection logs were utilized to understand the participants’ experiences at the ISHS. From the data collected, several themes emerged such as the barriers related to bringing all stakeholders to an accurate understanding of STEM education, connecting with outside and inside stakeholders, and overcoming the lack of underrepresentation in STEM fields. Themes related to the challenges include meeting the complex demands associated with STEM instruction, carrying out STEM instruction at a schoolwide level, and delivering a robust STEM curriculum with time as a limiting factor. Additional themes that emerged as successes were how an inclusive STEM experience positively impacts students, the usage of teaching strategies that can maximize student results in a STEM setting, the processes and decisions that support the inclusive mission, and the development of positive relationships that benefit all stakeholders. This information supports existing research on teachers’ perceptions of STEM education as well as contributes to the literature on ISHSs. The findings of this study can benefit stakeholders such as teacher leaders, teachers, and school and district leaders by impacting their teaching, leading, and decision-making capacity. It can also be utilized to begin critical dialogue on how to best provide STEM learning access to underrepresented groups.

Keywords: Inclusive STEM, teachers’ perceptions, teacher leadership