June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.520.1 - 22.520.26
Educating Elementary Teachers in Engineering: A design method and baselineIt’s all over the news: Kindergartners doing engineering before they can even spell the word. Asschool districts and state departments of education bring engineering to the more classrooms,the issue of preparing teachers in engineering becomes a priority. Studies have shown that poorpresentation of engineering can actually do more harm than good: perpetuating stereotypesthat keep engineering interesting to only a small segment of the population or misrepresentingengineering as glorified art, crafts, science or vocational technical projects. Although manymiddle level and senior high classrooms provide students and teachers with opportunities toengage in engineering curriculum, the focus of engineering education at the elementary level issporadic or non-existent.This paper presents 1) how a basic introduction to engineering course designed for generaleducation and potential engineering majors was deliberately improved using the ParallelCurriculum Model (PCM) to align with eight ABET Program Outcomes found in Criterion 3;2) how PCM was also used to carefully structure the curriculum to meet the needs of multiplelearners (general education students, pre-engineering students, elementary education students);3) how we structured the learning activities and assignments to assess student competence,confidence and comfort (“the 3C’s”) with engineering, and 4) how the team teaching model thatincludes an engineering and education faculty member provides enhanced opportunities to useinnovative teaching and assessment strategies. Since this course is now required by elementaryeducation majors at our institution for licensure, the 3C’s are a must for these future teacherswho must teach engineering in their future classroom.Quantitative and qualitative results are presented regarding competence and confidenceregarding the ABET Program Outcomes through test scores and final projects, specifically intheir ability to: a) apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering; b) design andconduct experiments as well as analyze and interpret data to gain new knowledge pertinent tothe problems to solve; c) design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs withinrealistic constraints; d) function on multidisciplinary teams; e) identify, formulate and solveengineering problems; g) communicate effectively; h) understand the impact of engineeringsolutions in their daily lives; and i) engage in life-long learning. Each participated in pre-and post-surveys and reflections. Together, with our formal evaluation through tests andprojects, they provide a baseline for other engineering courses regarding, knowledge, skillsand dispositions necessary for future competent, confident and comfortable elementary schoolteachers of engineering.
Ng, Y., & Maxfield, L. R. (2011, June), Educating Elementary Teachers in Engineering: A Design Method and Baseline Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17801
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