Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Brett Geier, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph Kretovics, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Regina Nelson, Ph.D.


Common core state standards, education, formal education, informal education, K-12, preschool

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The federal government has made education a competition among ourselves. Learning is not a rivalry to be imposed on our physical and cognitive development as humans. Escalating beliefs recognize education is more encompassing than CCSS, assessments and the grade level time frames in which standards are to be taught. On the precipice of anti-intellect, low expectations, and what has been termed “The Dumbing of America” an investigation into what it would take to close the achievement gap and increase student learning is overdue.

The goal for my Michigan based project, S.T.E.A.M. Daises, was to develop a program focusing on the student as an individual in order to increase learning, and improve student achievement. S.T.E.A.M. Daises generates a constructivist theory that the educational environment has the ability to create change and openness for an individual’s capacity to explore, discover, learn, and develop self-realization. S.T.E.A.M. Daises was created for the purpose of educating all learners.

The use of S.T.E.A.M. Daises in a preschool classroom for one school year resulted in the students being one year ahead in science and social studies, one year to one and half years ahead in English Language Arts and two years ahead in math. These results suggest S.T.E.A.M. Daises is ready for further research.