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Board 126: Early Career Elementary Teachers’ Evolving Choices for Incorporating Engineering into Their Classroom

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jessica E. S. Swenson University of Michigan

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Jessica Swenson is a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan. She received her doctorate and masters from Tufts University in mechanical engineering and STEM education. Her current research involves examining different types of homework problems in undergraduate engineering science courses, flexible classrooms, active learning, responsive teaching, and novice elementary engineering teacher development.

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Kristen B. Wendell Tufts University

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Kristen Wendell is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education at Tufts University. Her research efforts at at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach focus on supporting discourse and design practices during K-12, teacher education, and college-level engineering learning experiences, and increasing access to engineering in the elementary school experience, especially in under-resourced schools. In 2016 she was a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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This work-in-progress paper describes the development of engineering teaching by two novice urban elementary school teachers. Using interpretive case study methodology, we analyze transcripts of eight interviews recorded after each engineering lesson during their first two years of teaching. Our analysis shows both teachers initially incorporated existing engineering curricula into their classrooms in service of teaching additional subjects that were important to them. By the end of their second year, their view of engineering shifted to seeing it as a lever for social justice. Implications from this work include creating a broader view of how engineering can be incorporated in the elementary classroom to engage students in a wide variety of subjects. Other implications for teacher educators include how to introduce, coach, and develop engineering teaching skills.

Swenson, J. E. S., & Wendell, K. B. (2019, June), Board 126: Early Career Elementary Teachers’ Evolving Choices for Incorporating Engineering into Their Classroom Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32223

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