Science teachers’ awareness of and responses to Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics teaching and learning in Zimbabwe
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This study sought to establish how conscious science teachers are about STEM curriculum reform in Zimbabwe. Specifically, it focussed on their understanding of STEM teaching -learning, their responses to the STEM teaching and learning initiative, and why teachers responded to the initiative in the manner they did. The research adopted a descriptive cross-sectional survey, situated in the qualitative research paradigm. Forty three (43) teachers selected from five high schools in Mashonaland East Province participated in this study. The data that was generated through a Likert Scale Questionnaire and a Semi Structured Interview guide was qualitative content analysed. It emerged from the study that (1) teachers held diversified views of what STEM teaching and learning entails, (2) there are mixed responses by the participating teachers towards STEM teaching and learning and (3) their reactions are negatively inclined towards the STEM curriculum. The study concluded that (1) a significant number of science teachers are not aware of what it entails to implement the new curriculum, (2) a significant number of science teachers have not changed their classroom practices and (3) most had no access to resources, such as a guiding framework to implement the new curriculum. The study recommends that teachers need further training and more resources need to be provided in the form of well-equipped science laboratories, relevant textbooks, materials for use in project work and there is also need to create strategic partnerships with industries so that their needs are in tandem with what pupils are being taught in schools.