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Engineering Design Graphics Instruction Through a Lens of Cultural–Historical Learning Theory

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Something New??? within Engineering Design Graphics Education

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.619.1 - 26.619.9



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Paper Authors


Theodore J. Branoff Illinois State University

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Dr. Branoff is a professor and chair of the Department of Technology at Illinois State University. He taught engineering graphics, computer-aided design, descriptive geometry, and instructional design courses in the College of Education at North Carolina State University from 1986-2014. He also worked for Siemens-Switchgear Division and for Measurement Group, Inc. Dr. Branoff's research interests include constraint-based solid modeling strategies and spatial visualization abilities in undergraduate students. He has conducted CAD and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing workshops for both industry and education professionals. Dr. Branoff served as President of the International Society for Geometry and Graphics from 2009-2012. In 2013 he was elected into the Academy of Fellows of the American Society for Engineering Education, and in 2014 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Engineering Design Graphics Division of ASEE.

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Kevin L Devine Illinois State University

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Kevin is the Program Coordinator for the Engineering Technology major at Illinois State University. His primary teaching assignments are in engineering graphics, industrial robotics, and CNC programming/machining.

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Engineering Design Graphics Instruction Through a Lens of Cultural-Historical Learning TheoryExpert engineering design graphics educators have mastered a complex network of symbols andcognitive tools. Their expertise has been developed by gaining rich experience working withcommunities of educators, industry professionals, and students. Examining specific learningexamples through a lens of cultural-historical learning theory provides a method ofunderstanding the “ways of knowing” within this field. The specific signs and symbols ofengineering design graphics are considered psychological tools which are used in daily activitiesto direct the mind and change the process of thinking. Experienced educators know theappropriate times to introduce these signs and symbols when students would not spontaneouslydiscover them on their own. They help students learn the languages of graphics by recognizingemerging abilities and using questioning strategies and other techniques to move a student fromtheir actual development to their potential development. This scaffolding technique isrecommended within collaborative, culturally meaningful, problem-solving environments. Thispaper will outline the signs and tools prevalent in engineering design graphics, explainengineering design graphics instruction within the context of cultural-historical learning theory,and describe specific learning examples within this theory.

Branoff, T. J., & Devine, K. L. (2015, June), Engineering Design Graphics Instruction Through a Lens of Cultural–Historical Learning Theory Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23957

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