STEM partnerships are popular initiatives but can be challenging to implement in practice. Accordingly, within the context of a nationwide, cross-setting STEM partnership program in Norway – Lektor2 – a co-design tool was introduced to support teachers to collaborate with STEM professionals in developing curriculum units involving authentic STEM problems and practices. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe the teachers’ and students’ experiences from the curriculum units based on the co-design tool and how the tool might help facilitate partnerships in STEM education. Teacher and student data were collected in 2015-2018 (N= 2479), and responses to open-ended questions were coded using a grounded theory approach. Findings indicate that the co-design tool, particularly “the commission” – where students are commissioned by STEM professionals to design solutions to authentic problems – enhanced teachers’ collaboration with STEM professionals, led to changes in pedagogical approaches, and enabled the teachers to differentiate in their teaching. Student experiences from participating in the co-designed curriculum units are characterised as more expansive views of STEM, STEM learning, and increased STEM engagement. We discuss how the co-design tool enabled teachers to overcome partnership challenges and what aspects of the commission appeared to be important for the students’ experiences. This study provides a specific example of a co-design tool that can enhance pedagogical designs developed through STEM partnerships.
This item's license is: Attribution 4.0 International