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Making The Case: Evaluating The Impact Of A Design, Engineering, And Technology Course On K 12 Teachers’ Practice

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Inservice Teacher Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.909.1 - 10.909.8



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Paper Authors

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Sharon Kurpius

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Dale Baker

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Chell Roberts

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Stephen Krause

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Making the Case: Evaluating the Impact of a Design, Engineering, and Technology Course on K-12 Teachers’ Practice

Dale Baker, Senay Yasar, & Sharon Robinson Kurpius: College of Education Steve Krause & Chell Roberts: Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering Arizona State University


The purpose of this study was to document the effect of a course designed to help teachers integrate Design, Engineering, and Technology (DET) into their curriculum. Since research supports the importance of understanding teachers’ perceptions of a new curriculum before implementation, we felt that we needed to know more about how the course was changing teachers perceptions as well as actions and knowledge about their current practice. Consequently, we used four analytical themes (Reflections on Practice, Changes in Practice, Intentions to Change Practice, and Change in Knowledge) to examine the likelihood that what teachers encountered in the course would transfer to their classrooms. Three graduate students allowed us to gather data over a semester to develop in-depth cases. The teachers were Alice, an elementary teacher; Denise, who taught at a Science Center; and Dana, a high school chemistry teacher. Alice intended to change, or changed things, such as teaching the design process explicitly, learning the science behind engineering concepts, developing activities for young children, using everyday contexts, and planning a model building unit. Denise changed her practice by attending to gender, integrating the design process and tinkering into lessons, and adding technology discussions. She helped the museum staff examine their program activities. Her unit indicated greater awareness of the time needed for hands-on exploration and discussion. Dana exhibited the most changes. She had students write about science and technology to determine prior knowledge. They designed labs as well as the lab instruments e.g. calorimeter. As department chair, she helped other science teachers incorporate DET into instruction. In creating her unit, she used the design process and her evaluation (including a delayed post test) which indicated that the students had learned everything intended.


In 1996, “Science and Technology,” was added to the NSF content Standards1 to emphasize the process of design and to link science and technology. Standard E (Science and Technology) addresses “abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans,” “abilities of technological design,” and “understanding about science and technology.” Standard F (Science in Personal and Social Perspectives) addresses the challenges of science and technology locally to globally; invention; and the socioeconomic, political and ethical impacts of science and technology. Standard G (History & Nature of Science) addresses the human

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Kurpius, S., & Baker, D., & Roberts, C., & Krause, S. (2005, June), Making The Case: Evaluating The Impact Of A Design, Engineering, And Technology Course On K 12 Teachers’ Practice Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15616

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