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Cognitive Research: Transferring Theories and Findings to K-12 Engineering Educational Practice

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Research to Practice: K-12 Engineering Resources: Best Practices in Curriculum Design (Part 1)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Michael Grubbs Baltimore County Public Schools

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Previous to my current position as Acting Supervisor of Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing Education of Baltimore County Public Schools, I was a Virginia Tech GRA and educator in Clayton County Public Schools.

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Greg J. Strimel West Virginia University Orcid 16x16

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Director, K-12 Initiatives

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Engineering design is increasingly viewed as highly beneficial to K-12 Education. As a result, engineering continues to be implemented in technology and engineering education alongside the recent inclusion of science with the Next Generation Science Standards. In turn, use of engineering has raised a number of concerns as to what the true intent is and how research can be used for K-12 educational practice. One concern is what is taught in K-12 education and how aligned it is with professional engineering preparation. This is often debated as the big “E” vs little “e” approach of teaching and learning. Secondly, as cognitive research in K-12 engineering design thinking is being conducted more frequently, what coding schemes are being used, how research is being conducted, and what do the findings suggest can begin to guide educators in the design of instructional practices. Lastly, how can recent design cognition research be used to impact student learning outcomes. Consequently, this article focuses on the influx of K-12 design cognition research related to engineering design. The outcomes of this paper is to ground K-12 design cognition research, by making connections with goals of K-12 education. A framework is provided for transferring design cognition research into effective pedagogical practices.

Grubbs, M., & Strimel, G. J. (2016, June), Cognitive Research: Transferring Theories and Findings to K-12 Engineering Educational Practice Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26504

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