June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
This paper presents findings from a two-year mixed methods research study investigating the impact of an arts-integrated (STEAM) approach to engineering education on middle school students and their teachers. The paper explores how the science and art teachers involved in the project constructed understandings of engineering and how they viewed engineering’s relevance to their classroom practice. The major, overarching innovation of this work is the integration of biomolecular engineering and the arts to achieve personally meaningful experiences that improve students’ content knowledge and future interest in biomolecular engineering and related areas.
Broadly situated under the sociocultural umbrella (Vygotsky, 1930-34/1978), this study views learning as situated in a Community of Practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and learners as novices who are apprenticed into the community’s culturally bound cognitive practices by experts (Rogoff, 1990, 1991). The teachers who participated in this study were newcomers to the field of engineering who were apprenticed into engineering through their collaboration with the researchers. By working with the researchers on implementing a weekly arts-integrated engineering curriculum, they became increasingly knowledgeable about the subject of the engineering design process, engineering design challenges, DNA origami, engineering pedagogical practices, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.
To analyze the teachers’ understanding about the engineering content, engineering pedagogy (specifically, teaching the engineering design process), and interdisciplinarity, researchers conducted a series of semi-structured individual interviews with each participant. Data were analyzed using a theme discovery approach (D’Andrade, 1995), paying particular attention to in vivo codes (Strauss, 1987; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The constant comparative method (Charmaz, 2001; Glaser, 1978 Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss, 1987) was used to determine and test patterns emerging across the data sets.
The study design includes teachers from one school for two-years, and the second school for one-year. This paper will report on the results of the study when the data collection and analysis of year-two teachers is completed.
Dixon, K., & Grzybowski, D. M., & Le, J. V., & Castro, C. E., & Barton, M., & Richardson, O. R. (2017, June), Making Meaning through Art-Integrated Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28643
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