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Elementary Teachers' Perceptions Of Engineering And Familiarity With Design, Engineering And Technology: Perspectives From A National Population

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Educational Research & Methods Poster Session

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.449.1 - 15.449.10



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Paper Authors


Ming-Chien Hsu Purdue University

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Ming-Chien is a doctoral student of engineering education and a research
assistant for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) at Purdue
University. She received for B.S. in Electrical engineering from National
Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, and a MS in Electrical Engineering from
Purdue University. Her current research focus is on engineering design and
K-12 engineering education.

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Monica Cardella Purdue University

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Monica Cardella is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education and the Co-Director of Assessment Research for the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) at Purdue University. Prof. Cardella earned a BSc in mathematics from the University of Puget Sound and a MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington. Her research interests include: K-12 engineering education, engineering design, the role of parents in engineering education, assessment, learning in informal environments, and mathematical thinking.

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Senay Purzer Purdue University

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Senay Purzer is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is also the Co-Director of Assessment Research for the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE). She received a Ph.D. and a M.A in Science Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. Her creative research focuses on collaborative learning, design & decision-making, and the role of engineering self-efficacy on student achievement.

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Noemi Mendoza Diaz Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessing Elementary Teachers’ Perceptions of Engineering and Familiarity with Design, Engineering and Technology: Implications on Teacher Professional Development


Sixty-nine elementary teachers voluntarily attended a career development workshop on integrating engineering into curriculum. A survey previously developed was administered to the group before the beginning of the workshop to assess their perceptions of and familiarity of design, engineering, and technology (DET). Quantitative analysis showed that the teachers thought DET was importance while rated their familiarity low. ANOVA found significant differences in how teachers with different levels of teaching experience rated the importance of DET and their familiarity with DET. The implications on teacher professional development are discussed.

Introduction and Purpose

Engineering education at the K-12 level is important. From a societal importance point of view, there is a need to educate engineering literate citizens, who can make informed decisions about technology use 1. From an individual standpoint, engineering literate individuals can get benefits at home and work, such as operating systems correctly and choosing the best consumer products. “Engineering literacy” relates to understanding issues involving conceiving, building, maintaining and designing objects or processes in the man-made world. It is synonymous with “technology literacy” used in the national science standards 2. In this paper, we will use the term design, engineering, and technology (DET) to capture the broader meaning of engineering education. In comparison to science and mathematics education, engineering education at the K-12 level is underdeveloped 3. Therefore, National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and National Research Council (NRC) called for developing engineering learning standards at the K-12 level. Aside from the calls for better engineering education infrastructure from the top down, recent studies have also provided evidence that learning engineering content, especially engineering design, can motivate children and help them learn science 4.

K-12 teachers are one of the primary agents in infusing engineering in K-12 education. However, most K-12 teachers do not go through trainings in engineering education during their pre-service education. Hence, teacher professional development programs are necessary to familiarize teachers with engineering content. As a beginning step in developing teacher professional development for K-12 teachers in engineering education, we are interested in

Hsu, M., & Cardella, M., & Purzer, S., & Mendoza Diaz, N. (2010, June), Elementary Teachers' Perceptions Of Engineering And Familiarity With Design, Engineering And Technology: Perspectives From A National Population Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16286

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