Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Pre-College Engineering Education
This paper describes the theoretical foundation and preliminary data supporting an in-service engineering education methods course for secondary science teachers. The Next Generation Science Standards were recently adopted with minor revisions by New York State for grades K-12. Few science and mathematics teachers have the engineering knowledge and skills to implement the standards effectively. This graduate course provides an in-depth examination of engineering knowledge and practices in the context of materials science, biomedical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. Key concepts of effective engineering education are introduced including: design-based approaches, optimization, STEM integration, assessment, and application of science principles to technological solutions. The focus is on how engineering design might be applied to biology, chemistry, and physics disciplinary domains. Research has suggested that exposure to innovative pre-college engineering pedagogical practices will also promote more equitable participation in the field. The proposed course will educate science teachers about classroom practices that will attract more students to the field through more accessible engagement with engineering practices as applied to science disciplines. These teaching practices aim to improve the engineering literacy of the general public, benefiting all students, particularly those who have traditionally been underrepresented in engineering fields.
Pre-course data were collected to measure participating science teacher practices and self-efficacy related to teaching engineering design, and how these practices and attitudes will be targeted for change during course participation. The science teachers (N=22) indicated a strong interest in becoming more proficient in teaching engineering design, yet less confidence in their ability to do so effectively. Notably, they overwhelmingly agreed that they did not receive adequate pre-service training in teaching engineering design, indicating the need for in-service professional development opportunities to improve teacher proficiency in helping students meet NGSS objectives. Teachers shared a commitment to communicating the importance of engineering through integrated instruction, and overall appreciation for the value of NGSS in improving science teaching and learning for students in an increasingly technological society. They were largely neutral regarding whether their school districts supported efforts to incorporate engineering in science, suggesting that school leaders and administrators also require professional development regarding the importance of the standards in improving STEM education for all students. The university-based engineering and science education team will perform empirical analyses to measure programmatic impacts, generating formative data to inform future course offerings in engineering education. We will expand science teacher offerings in the future to include other engineering disciplines in an effort to build capacity and the knowledge base for effective implementation of engineering practices in science education.
Christian, K., & Kelly, A. M., & Bugallo, M., & Sheppard, K. (2018, June), Board 120: University-based Engineering Training of High School Science Teachers to Implement the Next Generation Science Standards (Work in progress) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29898
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