This narrative inquiry examines teachers’ influences on undergraduate and graduate students who enrolled in STEM programs and intended to enter STEM careers.
Three National Science Foundation (NSF) scholarship grants sat in the backdrop.
Narrative exemplars were crafted using the interpretative tools of broadening, burrowing, storying and restorying, fictionalisation and serial interpretation.
Three diverse students’ narratives constituted the science education cases: one from teacher education, another arising from cyber technology and a third involving cyber security.
The influence of the university students’ former teachers cohered around five themes:
1) same program-different narratives,
2) in loco parentis,
3) counter stories,
4) learning in small moments, and 5) the importance of the liberal arts in STEM education.
The students’ narratives form instructive models for their siblings and other students pursuing STEM degrees and careers.
Most importantly, the multiperspectival stories of experiences capture the far-reaching impact of ‘unsung teachers’ whose long-term influence is greatly underestimated by the public.