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Evidence-Based Reasoning in a Kindergarten Classroom through an Integrated STEM Curriculum (Fundamental)

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-College: Techniques and Programs for Promoting Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28310

Download Count

471

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Paper Authors

biography

Anastasia Marie Rynearson Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2712-8712

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Anastasia Rynearson is a recent PhD graduate of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received a B.S. and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her teaching experience includes outreach activities at various age levels as well as a position as Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kanazawa Technical College. Her current research interests focus on early P-12 engineering education and identity development.

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Tamara J. Moore Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7956-4479

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Tamara J. Moore, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education and Director of STEM Integration in the INSPIRE Institute at Purdue University. Dr. Moore’s research is centered on the integration of STEM concepts in K-12 and postsecondary classrooms in order to help students make connections among the STEM disciplines and achieve deep understanding. Her work focuses on defining STEM integration and investigating its power for student learning. Tamara Moore received an NSF Early CAREER award in 2010 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2012.

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Kristina Maruyama Tank Iowa State University

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Kristina M. Tank is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Iowa State University. She currently teaches undergraduate courses in science education for elementary education majors. As a former elementary teacher, her research and teaching interests are centered around improving elementary students’ science and engineering learning and increasing teachers’ use of effective STEM instruction in the elementary grades. With the increased emphasis on improved teaching and learning of STEM disciplines in K-12 classrooms, Tank examines how to better support and prepare pre-service and in-service teachers to meet the challenge of integrating STEM disciplines in a manner that supports teaching and learning across multiple disciplines. More recently, her research has focused on using literacy to support scientific inquiry, engineering design, and STEM integration.

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Elizabeth Gajdzik Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7992-8180

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Elizabeth Gajdzik is the Assistant Director of the INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received both her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in mathematics and M.S.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in mathematics education from Baylor University. Prior to her work at INSPIRE, Elizabeth was a district curriculum math specialist in San Antonio, TX and a middle school mathematics teacher at a Title 1 school in Waco, TX.

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Abstract

Engineering is no longer an uncommon addition to P-12 classrooms. Basic engineering guidelines and practices have been suggested for pre-college students in a number of reports and articles, including the Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Among the eight essential practices in science and engineering is the practice of engaging in argument from evidence, often called argumentation. This practice allows students to design the best possible solution to meet the needs of a client from a variety of possible solutions. The use of these arguments in an engineering context has been called evidence-based reasoning (EBR).

The purpose of this research is to explore engineering practices in Kindergarten classrooms during an integrated curriculum. The research question is: How do Kindergarten students engage in evidence-based reasoning during an integrated STEM and literacy curriculum? A ten-lesson integrated curriculum incorporating literacy and STEM lessons was developed for use in Kindergarten classrooms. Four primary components set this curriculum apart from other commonly-implemented engineering lessons: 1) engineering design as the interdisciplinary glue, 2) realistic engineering contexts to promote student engagement, 3) high-quality literature to facilitate meaningful connections and 4) instruction of specific STEM content within an integrated approach. This curriculum is the context for observing evidence of developmentally-appropriate engineering practices in Kindergarten students. The integrated curriculum was implemented in three classrooms by three different teachers. Lessons were video recorded and researchers took field notes during the implementation. A selection of videos were open coded for evidence of engineering practices by multiple researchers. From the open coding, a framework was developed and used by multiple researchers to code all videos for evidence of engineering practices including evidence-based reasoning. Preliminary results have found evidence of students using EBR when designing solutions to the problem and when sharing their designs with others. Students were able to transfer knowledge from science and mathematics lessons to explain design choices and discuss reasons for failure of engineering prototypes. Classroom vignettes showcasing student use of EBR will be presented. This paper will show that students in grades as early as Kindergarten are able to engage in engineering practices, specifically evidence-based reasoning. It will also discuss developmentally appropriate engineering practices and describe EBR overall and at this age level. The paper will provide a look at what developmentally appropriate practices for engineering, particularly evidence-based reasoning, are, and how they can be implemented in Kindergarten classrooms.

Rynearson, A. M., & Moore, T. J., & Tank, K. M., & Gajdzik, E. (2017, June), Evidence-Based Reasoning in a Kindergarten Classroom through an Integrated STEM Curriculum (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28310

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015