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Encouraging Conceptual Change In P 12 Mexican Teachers Through The Use Of Engineering Design

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Professional Development for K-12 Teachers

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

15.461.1 - 15.461.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15853

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

biography

Enrique Palou Universidad de las Americas, Puebla

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Enrique Palou is Director, Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education; and Professor, Department of Chemical and Food Engineering at Universidad de las Americas Puebla
in Mexico. He teaches engineering, food science, and education related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, creating effective learning
environments, and building rigorous research capacity in science, engineering and technology education.

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biography

Aurelio López-Malo Universidad de las Americas, Puebla

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo is Professor and Past Chair, Department of Chemical and Food Engineering at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico. He teaches food science and engineering related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, natural antimicrobials, and active learning.

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biography

Lourdes Gazca Universidad de las Americas, Puebla

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Lourdes Gazca is Science, Engineering, and Technology Education Ph.D. Student at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico. She teaches mathematics and statistics related courses. Her research interests include faculty development, outcomes assessment, and creating effective learning environments.

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

Encouraging Conceptual Change in P-12 Mexican Teachers Through the Use of Engineering Design

Abstract

Mexico is suffering from a national crisis in science and math education. At the elementary, middle, and high school level, Mexican students perform poorly on standardized tests in comparison to other developing countries. Additionally, most P-12 Mexican teachers never get the chance to learn about engineering.

In this study, 65 teachers participated in a workshop based on the engineering teaching kit (ETK) called Save the Penguins1, 2 in order to learn about how to enhance science and math learning through the use of engineering design teaching. The Save the Penguins ETK is designed to address student alternative conceptions about heat, heat transfer, and temperature, address science standards, increase interest in science and math, and give participants the opportunity to learn more about engineering through the engineering design process.

Mexican P-12 teachers received a condensed version of the ETK, in addition to demonstrations aimed at promoting conceptual change. These demonstrations relied on discrepant events, P-12 teacher prediction, and discussion, and targeted well-researched alternative conceptions about heat transfer possessed by adults. The overall purpose for the demonstrations was to engage the participants in cognitive dissonance and encourage conceptual change. P-12 teachers participated in seven workshop facilitator-led demonstrations about heat transfer. They were designed to provide the scaffolding, which would help the teachers learn scientific concepts, concepts that might be beyond their students’ reach when not assisted. After the demonstrations and a brief review of the engineering design process, teachers worked in groups of four, and were required to test materials, then design, build, and test a dwelling that reduces heat transfer in order to keep a penguin-shaped ice cube from melting. The workshop lasted 4 hours and was entirely videotaped; a graduate student took detailed observation notes, and interviewed approximately one third of the teachers, prior, during, and after the intervention. Every interview was recorded and transcribed for qualitative analysis. Quantitative analysis involved statistically analyzing the 10-item multiple-choice pre- and post-test on heat transfer that teachers took prior to starting the workshop and immediately after the ETK was completed.

Results indicate that P-12 teachers made statistically significant (p < 0.01) gains in knowledge about heat transfer. Qualitative data analysis corroborated these findings. Previous research indicates that engineering design activities while beneficial for promoting attitudes towards engineering and making science and math learning fun and enjoyable for students, are not sufficient by themselves to promote conceptual change in science understanding. A bridge is needed to connect the design activities with the correct scientific conceptions, and in this study, that bridge has been demonstrated to be these seven well-crafted and research-based demonstrations that allowed P-12 teachers to make substantial gains (obtained a post-test mean score of 6.48±1.54 with an increase of 2.17 out of 10 points) in scientific understanding regarding heat transfer.

Palou, E., & López-Malo, A., & Gazca, L. (2010, June), Encouraging Conceptual Change In P 12 Mexican Teachers Through The Use Of Engineering Design Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15853

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