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Progress toward Lofty Goals: A Meta-synthesis of the State of Research on K-12 Engineering Education (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: Fundamental Research in Engineering Education (1)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

30

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28765

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28765

Download Count

276

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Paper Authors

biography

Vanessa Svihla University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4342-6178

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Dr. Vanessa Svihla is a learning scientist and assistant professor at the University of New Mexico in the Organization, Information & Learning Sciences program, and in the Chemical & Biological Engineering Department. She served as Co-PI on an NSF RET Grant and a USDA NIFA grant, and is currently co-PI on three NSF-funded projects in engineering and computer science education, including a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments project. She was selected as a National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Svihla studies learning in authentic, real world conditions; this includes a two-strand research program focused on (1) authentic assessment, often aided by interactive technology, and (2) design learning, in which she studies engineers designing devices, scientists designing investigations, teachers designing learning experiences and students designing to learn.

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Jill Marshall University of Texas, Austin

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Jill A. Marshall is an associate professor of STEM Education. She studies how people come to understand and engineer the physical world and how teachers can facilitate that process, as well as equity issues in STEM education. She is Associate Director of the UTeach Natural Sciences teacher certification program and Past President of the American Association of Physics Teachers. She received her BS in Physics from Stanford University in 1980 and her PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. She has served on the Advisory Board for PhysTEC (Physics Teacher Education Coalition) and on the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics.

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Ara Winter University of New Mexico, Department of Biology

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BA in Chemistry, MS in Earth and Planetary Sciences, and PhD in Biology.
Data scientist.

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Yang Liu University of New Mexico, Department of Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences

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MA Graduate Student in Learning Sciences, University of New Mexico.

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Abstract

This paper synthesizes literature on formal and informal engineering education in K-12 settings. We focus on outcomes related to (1) developing interest and/or identities in engineering, including in (2) engineering careers, (3) recruitment of increased numbers of students, (4) learning and achievement of science, technology, and mathematics content/practices, (5) learning and achievement of engineering content/practices, (6) understanding the nature of engineering, and (7) broadening participation of diverse learners. Employing the methodology of previous reviews [1-4], we reviewed papers published between 2008-2016 (n = 131 papers). We used Google Scholar and a set of search terms including synonyms for K-12 settings, informal settings, and engineering education, to identify relevant peer reviewed journal articles. We coded each paper based on goals, data, analysis, and outcomes achieved. We then synthesized findings and gaps from previous reviews and the 2008-2016 time period. We find that in the past eight years the field has developed increasingly rigorous research methods, but many publications still report studies that have not adopted this higher level of rigor. There are still opportunities for growth tied to qualitative methods in particular. Further, there are still few published studies that contribute in meaningful ways to our understanding of how to recruit and retain learners from diverse groups. We close by setting research agendas and avenues needed to understand and impact concerns over diversity and inclusion in engineering.

Svihla, V., & Marshall, J., & Winter, A., & Liu, Y. (2017, June), Progress toward Lofty Goals: A Meta-synthesis of the State of Research on K-12 Engineering Education (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28765

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