This study addressed the question, “What factors do experts perceive as impacting STEM achievement of students in rural schools with predominantly Indigenous students?” A thematic analysis of interviews with 40 educators with a depth of experience identified six major themes: holistic STEM education, inclusion of local culture in STEM education, highly qualified staff, STEM curriculum and instruction, technology, and STEM funding. These themes were interrelated. Holistic education demanded more individualized curriculum and required more highly qualified staff who could adapt the curriculum and integrate technology with traditional knowledge, but these educators were harder to hire and retain due to low funding. It is emphasized that efforts to raise STEM achievement of Indigenous students attending rural schools should be embedded within consideration of the larger system, including the academic, emotional, and cultural experiences of students and financial, technological and human resources available.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.