New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Challenges for Integrating Engineering into the K-12 Curriculum: Indicators of K-12 Teachers’ Propensity to Adopt Innovation
Abstract With recognition of the potential expansion of the engineering pipeline engineering was included in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The inclusion of engineering in the NGSS (and other state level STEM learning standards) comes with the expectation that K-12 teachers teach engineering as part of their curriculum. However, teacher adoption of innovations, such as teaching engineering, is a complex process that relies heavily on teacher propensity to adopt novel curricular choices and instructional approaches. Thus, prior to preparing teachers to teach engineering, there is a benefit to knowing something about how open teachers are to educational innovations and how likely they are to take the risks associated with adopting curriculum that effectively integrates unique and novel approaches to teaching and learning.
Using our experience with enhancing teacher capacity to teach integrated STEM through professional development (PD), we have recognized that the teachers who are early adopters of innovation tend to have openness to multiple ideas and engage in different STEM teaching and pedagogical practices than those who are more reluctant to consider innovations. Based on our observations, we set out to identify and empirically document the teacher perceptions for teaching engineering and indicators of a willingness to adopt innovation using teacher created lesson plans as a source of data.
In our prior work, we have empirically documented a number of potential indicators that are associated with teacher potential to adopt innovations. Our goal for this project was to gain some foundational understanding of how teacher plan to teach engineering and their attention to implementing other educational innovations. To achieve this goal we analyzed a sample of 42 teacher created lesson plans drawn from a larger sample of over 300 STEM related lesson plans. We found that the teachers communicated incomplete understanding of engineering practices and design, yet created plans that shared the responsibility for assignment decisions with the students. We also found that the teachers communicated limited implementation of educational innovations in their plans. In our discussion we propose explanation and implications for our results.
Nadelson, L., & Sias, C. M., & Seifert, A. (2016, June), Challenges for Integrating Engineering into the K-12 Curriculum: Indicators of K-12 Teachers' Propensity to Adopt Innovation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26471
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