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Motives, Conflicts and Mediation in Home Engineering Design Challenges as Family Pedagogical Practices (Fundamental)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 13

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Jungsun Kim Indiana University Bloomington Orcid 16x16

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Jungsun Kim, Ph.D. is a research scientist at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her research focuses on how students can consistently develop their talents throughout their educational experiences and in what ways parents, school, and community support students from underrepresented groups support it.

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Soo Hyeon Kim Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Orcid 16x16

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Soo Hyeon Kim is an assistant professor of Library and Information Science at School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Her scholarly goal is to broaden STEM participation for socially marginalized groups by designing constructionist learning environments and mobile technologies to empower youth, families, and informal educators. Previously, she worked as a project manager to develop smartphones.

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Much is known about the importance of the family as a learning environment in STEM education [1], but less is known about conducting engineering design challenge activities in home environments. Although many studies highlight the development of STEM concepts and skills, more research is needed to understand how to support this development through caregiver-child interactions at home. This study aims to (a) investigate caregiver-child interactions that support the development of child(ren)’s STEM conceptualizations and skills in engineering design challenge activities within family pedagogical practices, and (b) examine caregivers’ pedagogical expectations within family pedagogy. Guided by Vygotsky’s cultural-historical view, the authors analyze child(ren)’s development of STEM conceptualizations and skills in parent-child interactions, with a focus on motives, conflicts, and mediation. Seven families with nine children (grades 1-5) participated in three to five engineering activities over six months. The research team sent at-home engineering kits that contained an instruction card, materials, and tools for engineering challenge activities in five engineering disciplines. Caregivers were instructed to video-record their engineering activities, creating approximately 100 hours of video data. Then, caregivers participated in in-depth online interviews about their pedagogical expectations in educating children, specifically in STEM education. Qualitative findings from the home engineering data indicated that conflicts occurred (a) between caregivers’ suggestions and children’s ideas, (b) in misalignments between children’s readiness to take risks and caregivers’ level of facilitation, and (c) between caregivers’ and children’s motives. From the in-depth interviews, caregivers’ narratives illustrated their pedagogical expectations in STEM learning as (a) broadening the child’s understanding of engineering and STEM domains, (b) developing independent learning skills through quality family time, and (c) nurturing thinking and problem-solving skills in daily conversations. For the first theme, caregivers commonly highlighted the value of failures and trial-and-error in lifelong education. Secondly, caregivers noted the importance of independent learning skills through their families’ life experiences. The final theme was caregivers’ awareness of the how their communities valued STEM skills.

Kim, J., & Kim, S. H. (2021, July), Motives, Conflicts and Mediation in Home Engineering Design Challenges as Family Pedagogical Practices (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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