A Policy-Relevant Instrumental Case Study of an Inclusive STEM-Focused High School: Manor New Tech High

Sharon J. Lynch, Nancy Spillane, Ann House, Erin Peters-Burton, Tara Behrend, Kathleen M. Ross, Edmund M. Han
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This instrumental case study of Manor New Tech High (MNTH) provides insight and understanding of a trend in U.S. education to create new STEM schools and increase the achievement of students underrepresented in STEM. MNTH was an inclusive, STEM-focused high school, in Manor, Texas. The creation of the school was stimulated by a statewide Texas STEM education policy initiative, seed money from private foundations, and local community support. MNTH was chosen for this study because of its diverse student population and reputation as a successful, innovative STEM school. The case provides an in-depth look at the school’s design, implementation, and outcome dimensions, in context. Ten candidate critical components framed the study and illuminate opportunity structures for MNTH students as they learned STEM and built social capital. MNTH implemented a project-based learning instructional environment, ubiquitous integration of technology, and a strong STEM curriculum. Teachers collaborated to create innovative curriculum and instruction, led by an energetic, well-connected principal. A robust network of student supports helped to ensure that students attained the skills and confidence in STEM and for college admission. The positive school culture promoted a sense of family, and the STEM focus enabled acquisition of 21st century skills.

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