June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Pre-College Engineering Education
As K-12 engineering education becomes more ubiquitous in the U.S, increased attention is being paid to how teachers are prepared to lead engineering learning experiences in their classrooms. Most teacher education initiatives emphasize familiarizing teachers with engineering concepts and helping them implement given curriculum. In addition, many engineering education initiatives are limited in duration to short workshops or programs. Recent calls from the National Academies and others have emphasized that teachers should be involved in professional development over sustained time period to allow for content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and communities of practice to develop.
To address these issues the Teacher Engineering Education Program (TEEP) at Tufts University’s Center for Engineering Education and Outreach was developed in Fall 2015. Offered completely online and asynchronously, TEEP engages teachers in four graduate-level courses over 18 months. TEEP looked to address existing standards in the development of its core curricula. A common standard in these types of guidelines is to engage teachers in authentic engineering practices. While this is an explicit standard, to date, it is only loosely defined what it means to engaged educators in authentic engineering. TEEP designed engineering content courses which present educators with engineering challenges that are meant to challenge them as adult learners. To do this, they are tasked with learning technologies and engaging in engineering challenges, like a automated fish feeder, that are beyond what their own students would do. To study the impact of these experiences on teachers, we tasked teachers with creating representations, descriptions, and reflections on the engineering design process and practices at a mid-point in the course and at the end of their first content courses.
This paper will share the results of the qualitative analysis of the way in which eleven elementary teachers’ understanding and stance toward engineering design changed as a result of engaging in adult-level engineering design projects. Identified themes showed that many teachers had more expansive conceptions of the engineering design process models and steps and that these understanding had connections to their pedagogical thinking about engineering with children. Implications of these findings and themes for teacher professional development standards, professional development design, and interactions between content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge will be discussed.
Portsmore, M. D., & Watkins, J., & Swanson, R. D. (2019, June), Board 123: Engaging Teachers in Authentic Engineering Design Tasks to Refine their Disciplinary Understandings (Work In Progress) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32216
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