June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.46.1 - 12.46.10
A Holistic Evaluation of the Effects of an Informed Pedagogy on Initial Teacher Education Abstract:
Science and Technology education plays an important role in Ireland’s knowledge based economy. The University of Limerick is the main producer in the Republic of Ireland of Teachers of Technology subjects for the second level (High School) education system and therefore have a significant impact in this area. The undergraduate Engineering and Technology teacher education course has been recently reviewed and updated to bring it in line with the latest developments in the subject areas. The degree is a four-year full-time programme involving elements of Engineering Design, Manufacture, Automation, Information Technology as well as Educational theory and pedagogy. The new programme was launched in 2005 and replaces an existing one that had been running for over twenty years.
As a means of continuous evaluation of this redesign, student teachers from the new programme had their experiences, attitudes and preparedness monitored and correlated with students from the older version of the programme. Whilst carrying out these correlations, trends and common student characteristics began to emerge, forming the foundation of this study.
Engineering students have been found to follow a set of characteristics with regard to their preferred learning styles. Following well documented research studies (e.g. Felder 2005) it was found that the undergraduate students training at the University of Limerick adhered to these styles. These preferred styles were used to assist and inform pedagogies, and help student teachers create informed judgements about their own teaching styles.
The main findings of this work were that undergraduates studying in the redesigned course formulated an attitude of professionalism towards teaching, and performed better with problem-solving tasks. The active learning environment that the experimental group were exposed to led to the students becoming an active part in the creation of suitable pedagogies. The methodology that is described as a result of this work, acts as a strategic approach to inform engineering pedagogy in the University of Limerick.
Key Words: Engineering Education, CDIO.
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