Policymakers and the public are increasingly asking educators to approach instruction from a STEM perspective, integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to prepare students for future careers. At the same time, administrators are directing teachers to make learning more communal and student-driven, emulating the workforce students will likely enter. Often there is no specific training or support for the teachers who lead these STEM-oriented, collaborative classrooms. A 2013 report issued by the Chicago STEM Education Consortium noted that one fundamental challenge is the absence of a clear and common definition of STEM education (C-STEMEC, 2013). Since 2003, the Loyola University Center for Science and Math Education has engaged in professional learning with thousands of teachers in Chicago-area schools, facilitating the development and implementation of high-quality

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Julie A. Jacobi, Sarah E. Stults, Rachel Shefner, Karin E. Lange, Nayantara S. Abraham, and Megan Deiger

Julie A. Jacobi ( and Sarah E. Stults ( are instructional coaches, Rachel Shefner ( is associate director, Karin E. Lange ( is assistant director for math programs, and Nayantara S. Abraham ( is a research coordinator at the Loyola University Center for Science and Math Education. Megan Deiger ( is a research assistant professor at Loyola University.


C-STEMEC. (2013). Putting it all together: Supporting K-12 STEM education in Illinois. Chicago, IL: Chicago STEM Education Consortium.

Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.

Miller, B., Moon, J., & Elko, S. (2000). Teacher leadership in mathematics and science: Casebook and facilitator’s guide. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Sally, J.D. & Sally, Jr., P.J. (2003). TriMathlon: A workout beyond the school curriculum. Natick, MA: A K Peters.

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The Learning Professional

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