Date of Award

Spring 4-20-2022




Doctor of Education

Degree Type

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Dentzau, PhD

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Patrick, PhD

Third Advisor

Dr. Deniz Peker, PhD


Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) education is an instructional approach to education in which students demonstrate creative approaches in experiential, inquiry-based learning within the STEM disciplines. Despite the national focus on STEAM education, there exists considerable uncertainty as to what constitutes STEAM education and how classroom educators make sense of their conceptualization of STEAM in their classroom within the state of Georgia.

The method of conceptualization is the internal processing of thoughts that produce new ideas or knowledge. This descriptive case study offers thoughtful new insights on how educators in a STEAM-certified elementary school in a school district located in Georgia conceptualize STEAM education. The study employed three instruments to gain authentic insight into participants’ conceptualizations of STEAM education in their elementary classroom settings. The data from this descriptive case study suggest STEAM education is a distinctively different approach to instruction beneficial for student success in the 21st-century landscape. The data indicated STEAM education is socially constructed and most effectively implemented in a transdisciplinary manner. This descriptive case study findings offers intersubjective knowledge for enhanced collective knowledge of STEAM in the elementary classroom setting and advances the understanding that one, singular conceptualization of STEAM implementation in the classroom setting may not be an appropriate goal or target. Instead, the basic tenets of culture, change, and context need to be considered on an individual basis if STEAM education continues to progress as a widely used curricular approach for student success in the 21st century landscape.

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