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Characterizing Engineering Outreach Ambassadors' Teaching Moves during Engineering Design Activities (Fundamental)

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34275

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34275

Download Count

66

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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth Ann Moison Tufts University

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Center for Engineering Education and Outreach

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Karen Miel Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8460-4332

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Karen Miel is a PhD student in STEM Education at Tufts University. Karen served as the Director of Research and Innovation at the science center CuriOdyssey and the Education Director of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo after teaching elementary and middle school. Her research focuses on elementary students’ reasoning and decision-making in collaborative engineering design.

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Merredith D. Portsmore Tufts University

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Dr. Merredith Portsmore is the Director for Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (www.ceeo.tufts.edu). Merredith received all four of her degrees from Tufts (B.A. English, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.A. Education, PhD in Engineering Education). Her research interests focus on how children engage in designing and constructing solutions to engineering design problems and evaluating students’ design artifacts. Her outreach work focuses on creating resources for K-12 educators to support engineering education in the classroom. She is also the founder of STOMP (stompnetwork.org), LEGOengineering.com (legoengineering.com) and the Teacher Engineering Education Program (teep.tufts.edu).

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Kelli Paul Indiana University-Bloomington Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2322-7542

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Dr. Kelli Paul is a postdoctoral researcher in science education at Indiana University. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology specializing in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University in 2006. She managed a consulting business for 10 years working on evaluations that focused primarily in the areas of education and STEM for middle and high school students, especially women and minority students. Her research interests include student engagement and interest in STEM and STEM careers as well as the development of instruments and evaluation tools to assess these constructs.

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Adam Maltese Indiana University-Bloomington Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8422-9395

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Associate Professor of Science Education

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Abstract

Engineering Outreach Ambassadors: Ambitious Teaching Moves in Support of Elementary Students’ Engineering Progress (Fundamental) Keywords: Elementary engineering education; Engineering outreach; Ambitious teaching; Teaching moves; Ambitious instruction

Engineering outreach programs have the potential to significantly influence precollege youth; university-led engineering programs reach approximately 600,000 K-12 students each year in the United States. Despite the prevalence of these outreach programs, little is known about the nature of the discursive interactions between outreach ambassadors and participating youths and the ways in which these interactions support youths’ progress in engineering. Understanding the ways in which outreach ambassadors support youth to learn engineering is critical to furthering the effectiveness of these programs and contributes to greater understanding about how to support engineering in K-12 settings. Often, these programs are facilitated by undergraduate and graduate engineering ambassadors who themselves are developing as engineers and educators. In the context of an engineering outreach program for elementary students, this study examines the teaching moves of outreach ambassadors, adds to the understanding of their teaching moves, and offers preliminary conjectures about the impact of these moves on students. This study asks: What kinds of discursive teaching moves do outreach ambassadors enact when interacting with elementary student design teams?  In the focal outreach program, pairs of university students facilitated engineering design challenges in elementary classrooms for one hour each week throughout the school year. We selectively sampled and analyzed four such sessions in four fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms. We used discourse analysis and a lens of ambitious teaching to classify the teaching moves employed during interactions between ambassadors and small groups of students who were engaged in engineering design challenges. We identified a range of moves, including ambitious, inclusive, and conservative teaching moves, across the four sessions. From class to class, we observed variation in distribution of each category of teaching move and we hypothesize that activity design and outreach ambassador orientations toward teaching influence this variation.   Particularly promising for engineering teaching and learning, we observed ambassadors making bids to elicit student ideas, pressing for evidence-based explanations, and revoicing students’ design ideas. These moves are characteristic of ambitious instruction and have the potential to support students to engage in reflective decision-making and to guide students toward productive, more expert engineering design practices. Our analysis suggests that engineering outreach ambassadors notice and respond to students’ ideas, engaging in ambitious teaching practices which can be expected to support elementary students in making progress in engineering design. This analysis of outreach ambassadors’ discursive interactions with elementary student design teams adds to the growing conversation of ambitious instruction in engineering.

Moison, E. A., & Miel, K., & Portsmore, M. D., & Paul, K., & Maltese, A., & Kim, J. (2020, June), Characterizing Engineering Outreach Ambassadors' Teaching Moves during Engineering Design Activities (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34275

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