June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.593.1 - 22.593.12
Engineering in Early Education: a Multicultural Comparison of Web Resources.Engineering education for the precollege years is an emerging academic discipline. The focus is onaddressing the need to further understand and improve the ways that engineers are formally educated. Oneof the fundamental research questions brought to light by the emerging discipline involves identifyingopportune times and approaches in introducing students to engineering, starting perhaps from the earlyages, while in parallel content appropriateness is also discussed. At the same time there is an ongoingeffort to understand if, how, and when informal engineering education takes place.When introducing engineering at the early education level, teachers’ and parents’ preparation and supportbecome a crucial factor. Introducing engineering in the early years raises a need for understanding thecontent, while also posing the challenge of preparing teachers to incorporate it into their practice.Teachers have left the traditional method of looking for new information in books, journals andmagazines. Further when examining international school settings, the development of technologicalinfrastructure is not on the same level in every country. The advent of the Internet, coming at a faster orslower pace, created an expansion of how teachers receive professional development and how theyprepare for courses. In parallel the wide information release is also used by many parents who are tryingto enhance their children’s informal education. While the professional development offered byuniversities and school districts and further educational entities provides the majority of formal optionsaccessed by teachers, many informal sources are also utilized by teachers and parents on a day-to-daybasis.A preliminary search for P-12 engineering materials revealed a wide variety of curricula, lesson plans andactivities. Narrowing it down to the P-3 level though reveals that the pedagogical and content reliablesources at that level are very limited and particularly tough to identify among the plethora of information.Furthermore, although the internet allows for access to curricula developed and offered to a globalaudience, the language in which this content is presented is still a barrier and while it makes the contentwidely available to some target groups, there is still a large number of teachers that cannot take advantageof this shared information.This study is an attempt to examine the existing early education engineering curricula created by entitiesofficially related to education in 7 different languages. It also aims to present the current comparativeinternational landscape of this field, and offer to teachers and parents interested in introducing theirchildren to engineering a reliable starting point towards early engineering information gathering. Thepaper also addresses emerging pedagogical and engineering fidelity issues.
Bagiati, A., & Yoon, S. Y., & Evangelou, D., & Kaloustian, G., & Cekic, O., & Zhu, J., & Magana, A. J. (2011, June), Engineering in Early Education: a Multicultural Comparison of Web Resources Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17874
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