First Advisor

Anita Bright

Term of Graduation

Summer 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




Culturally sustaining pedagogy, Science -- Study and teaching, Self-efficacy



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 200 pages)


In this document, I outline the context and significance of a research problem faced by both formal and informal science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educators in the Portland metro area--specifically, the need for greater understanding of the individual and cultural motivations, needs, and agentic behavior of learners, as well as the ways in which these factors intersect with learners' experiences of cultural sustenance within their holistic STEM education ecosystems. I base the significance of this problem on the racial and gender inequities evident in the STEM fields and the social and cultural dynamics that discourage members of these groups from pursuing STEM endeavors even when interest, goals, and self-efficacy may exist. To explore the nuances of this fundamental issue, I outline a critical quantitative survey design research study grounded in a multifaceted complexity/critical theoretical framework. Through this lens, I examined my problem of practice with regard to its ramifications for teaching and learning, with findings suggesting relatively consistent levels of self-efficacy and cultural sustenance across the STEM ecosystem. Six strands of science learning impacts, however, varied significantly in interesting ways that call into question the conceptualization most common in the informal STEM learning field. Through this study, my goal was to inform a meaningful, authentic alignment with the perspectives, needs, motivations, and strengths of learners, supporting equitable, responsive, holistic access to STEM learning opportunities and a disruption of the persistent trends of underrepresentation in these fields.


©2021 Christopher Louis Beauprey Cardiel

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