Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Sarah Yates

Second Advisor

Dr. Janet L. Deck

Third Advisor

Dr. Patrick N. Jarrett


This case study examined South Carolina public school science teachers’ perceptions of self-efficacy related to planning and executing STEM-centric lessons. The adoption of the South Carolina Academic Standards and Performance Indicators for Science in 2014 required science teachers to make substantial pedagogical shifts in their instructional practices, which influenced their self-efficacy. The standards included science and engineering practices (SEPs) embedded in the standards. Understanding how science teachers’ perceptions of self-efficacy influence their instructional competence for planning and executing SEP-integrated lessons might guide schools and districts to create focused instructional support for the teachers designed to meet their unique pedagogical needs. An examination of 10 South Carolina teachers’ lived experiences and their STEM-centric lesson plans provided insights into what type of professional development they needed to make the necessary pedagogical shifts to integrate the SEPs successfully. The insights gained from the teachers’ interview and lesson plan data revealed that they preferred one-on-one mentoring from expert-teachers who model SEP integration. The findings from this study may be valuable for school and district level educators as they explore alternative professional development options for science teachers. The information may also expand the types of professional development offered by the South Carolina Department of Education.