August 23, 2022
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In this paper and related poster we report on our NSF DRK-12 “Design Talks” project, funded by the Division of Research on Learning. In pre-college engineering education contexts, detailed explorations of student discourse and teacher moves have begun to emerge. However, important questions remain about how to structure whole-class engineering design conversations in K-8 school classrooms, especially from an asset-based and justice-oriented perspective. In the Design Talks project, we seek to explore these questions by enacting and characterizing multiple types of intentionally facilitated, whole-class engineering design conversations in first-grade through sixth-grade classrooms. We are developing case studies of specific types of teacher-supported conversation in which students are asked to consider design decision-making not just as a technical task, but as a complex socio-technical activity with ethical, economic, and political dimensions. In the first year of the project, we have developed two interpretive case studies, each focused on one genre of design talks as enacted in two different sixth-grade classrooms. The first is focused on “should we?” design talks, and the second is focused on “problem-scoping” design talks. We present initial findings about the socio-ethical reasoning practices that students employ as they consider both design problems and design solutions through a socio-technical lens.
Wendell, K., & Watkins, J., & De Lucca, N., & Pangan, T. J., & Woodcock, R., & Andrews, C. (2022, August), “Should we build this?”: Student reasoning in intentionally facilitated socio-technical design talks Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/42015
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