June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
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
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