June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.302.1 - 11.302.13
Can an Engineer Teach Elementary Education Majors How to Teach Science and Engineering?
Dr. Karen High, faculty member in Chemical Engineering, was a Laboratory Instructor for the fall 2005 Semester for CIED (Curriculum and Instruction Education) 4353 at Oklahoma State University. The course is “Science in the Elementary School Curriculum.” This course covers the purposes, selection and organization of content, teaching and learning procedures and evaluation of outcomes in elementary school science and its participants consist of education students typically without any background in engineering or science.
Approximately 75% of class time is devoted to laboratory activities and field experiences that promote the science content, process, learning theory, philosophy and curricula appropriate for grades 1-8. Class and field activities are hands-on, inquiry-based activities, utilizing whole group discussions, cooperative learning groups, and some individual projects. Laboratory experiences are designed to emphasize the science process skills. The remaining 25% of class time is devoted to lecture, discussion, and demonstration. During the laboratory engineering concepts were discussed and demonstrated.
This paper will focus on the effectiveness of instruction by a chemical engineering faculty member as evaluated by in-course assessment tools. Was there any perceived benefit of having an Engineer involved with a course designed for education majors? Were the students more aware of the engineering field and of engineering concepts due to this involvement? Were the students appropriately taught science methods?
Introduction and Background
The American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) has been at the forefront of K- 12 Science Education. An Engineering K-12 Center presentation “Why K-12 Engineering?”1 suggests there are many benefits for teachers to incorporate engineering in their curriculum. They include1:
Engineering is Academic Glue – it binds complex math and science concepts for real-world experiences and leads to learning that sticks with students.
Engineering is Creativity – the need for problem-solving and innovation brings out the best ideas from every student.
Engineering is Group Work – students learn to communicate and work together while they learn math and science by applying engineering principles.
High, K., & Beller, C., & Fry, P., & Redmond, A. (2006, June), Can An Engineer Teach Elementary Education Majors How To Teach Science And Engineering? Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1110
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