Developing Resilient K-12 STEM Teachers

Diane S. Wright, Meena M. Balgopal, Laura B. Sample McMeeking, Andrea Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The Problem: The US is currently experiencing a shortage of K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers, especially in high-poverty communities. The shortage can be explained by both low teacher recruitment and high teacher turnover; however, the reasons why teachers leave the profession are complex. The Solution: We argue that teacher professional development programs are often focused on how teachers can meet the needs of their students but ignore how teachers can build their own professional resilience. We draw from research in both teacher self-efficacy and ecological adaptive capacity to propose a revised Teacher-Centered Systemic Reform Model that identifies adaptive capacity as an outcome goal for individuals and school systems. School environments are dynamic (e.g., new policies, student needs, and changing administrators), and as a result, teachers need skills to adapt, enabling them to be resilient while still meeting students’ needs. The Stakeholders: Professional development, teacher educators, human resource development (HRD) practitioners, K-12 STEM teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-34
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • STEM teachers
  • adaptive capacity
  • professional resilience
  • teacher turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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