Multiple Instrumental Case Studies of Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools: Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration

September 1, 2011

Funding: National Science Foundation


The aim of this project is to examine opportunity structures provided to students by Inclusive STEM-Focused High Schools (ISHS), with an emphasis on studying schools that serve students from underrepresented groups.

In contrast to highly selective STEM-focused schools that target students who are already identified as gifted and talented in STEM, ISHSs aim to develop new sources of STEM talent, particularly among underrepresented minority students, to improve workforce development and prepare STEM professionals.

Our research team has initially identified ten candidate critical components that define ISHSs and is refining and further clarifying the critical components through the research study.

The research uses a multiple instrumental case study design. Analysis of the first phase of the study aims to develop rich descriptions that showcase characteristics of the schools to determine a theory of action that illustrates interconnections among context, design, implementation, and outcome elements. Evaluation of the project consists of an internal advisory board and an external advisory board, both of which provide primarily formative feedback on research procedures.

Research findings, as well as case studies, records of instrument and rubric development and use, annual reports, and conference proposals and papers will be made available on this website, in order to provide an immediate and ongoing resource for education leaders, researchers and policymakers to learn about research on these schools and particular models



Sharon Lynch