Equity-Oriented Conceptual Framework for K-12 STEM literacy

Christa Jackson, Margaret J. Mohr-Schroeder, Sarah B. Bush, Cathrine Maiorca, Thomas Roberts, Caitlyn Yost, Abigail Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We introduce a conceptual framework of K-12 STEM literacy that rightfully and intentionally positions each and every student, particularly minoritized groups, as belonging in STEM. In order to conceptualize the equity-based framework of STEM literacy, we conducted a systematic review of literature related to STEM literacy, which includes empirical studies that contribute to STEM literacy. The literature on the siloed literacies within STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, and mathematics literacy) also contributed to formulate the necessity of and what it means to develop STEM literacy. The Equity-Oriented STEM Literacy Framework illuminates the complexities of disrupting the status quo and rightfully transforming integrated STEM education in ways that provide equitable opportunities and access to all learners. The Equity-Oriented STEM Literacy Framework is a research-based, equity and access-focused framework that will guide research, inform practice, and provide a lens for the field that will ensure each and every student, especially minoritized students, develop, and are developing STEM literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalInternational Journal of STEM Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers 1348281 and 1560013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • Conceptual framework
  • Equity
  • Formal learning
  • Informal learning
  • STEM Literacy
  • STEM education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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