Toni Morris

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Patricia A Obenauf

Committee Co-Chair

Reagan Curtis

Committee Member

Michael J Mann

Committee Member

Joy F Saab

Committee Member

Samuel Stack


This study investigated whether or not the storytelling strategy could be used to increase student engagement and learning among non-STEM/STEAM majors participating in STEM/STEAM courses required by their programs of study. Specifically, it examined whether or not using storytelling to teach health science content to Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education students contributed to higher levels of student engagement, retention of content knowledge, self-reported preparedness to teach the content as future teachers, and ratings of teacher effectiveness. This study employed a QUAN-qual design. A true experimental design was used for the quantitative portion of the study while semi-structured group interviews were used in the qualitative portion. Forty-seven participants were randomly assigned to the storytelling group or the control group. Ten participated in the semi-structured group interviews. Repeated Measures ANOVA was used to examine difference over time between the treatment and control groups. Dependent sample t-test comparisons were used to examine differences in means at different time points within the treatment group. Qualitative data was analyzed using Hatch's Interpretive Analysis. Findings provided evidence that storytelling is an effective teaching strategy when teaching STEM/STEAM content to non-STEM/STEAM majors. Repeated Measures ANOVA provided strong evidence that the treatment group had higher levels of perceived student engagement, content knowledge, and perceptions of teacher interest and engagement in teaching. Dependent samples t-tests suggested these differences persisted two weeks after exposure to the storytelling strategy. The themes identified during qualitative data analysis supported the quantitative results and indicated that students participating in the treatment condition had high levels of student engagement, believed they retained content knowledge at a higher level, and perceived the instructor as more effective.