Content Analysis of International STEM Education Research Journals


  • Miguel Perez
  • Britney Campbell-Gulley
  • Carey Wilson
  • Meghan England


STEM education emerged as a focus for educators and researchers in the United States as more states and schools implement integrated, STEM-driven curricula and instruction in order to improve students’ STEM literacy, critical thinking skills, and 21st century workforce skills (Bybee, 2013). This study used content analysis (Grbich, 2013; Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) to investigate recent trends in STEM education research by analyzing all of the published articles in three international STEM education research journals. The criteria for journal selection were publication origination date, number of articles published, and ability to obtain the journals through student-accessible databases or journal websites. Data included the number and types of STEM subjects, whether or not the STEM subjects were integrated, the date of publication, and the setting and participants. Findings from this study suggest that STEM education research articles tend to focus on two or more STEM silos, with the number of iSTEM education research articles increasing in publication over time. Future research in STEM education should include K–12 settings to complement the work already being performed in higher education settings.

Bybee, R. W. (2013). The case for STEM education: Challenges and opportunities. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association.
Grbich, C. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.
Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288. doi:10.1177/1049732305276687






Education-Curriculum and Instruction