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Teaching for Transfer in Engineering High School Programs: A Study in Progress

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1143.1 - 23.1143.4



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Paper Authors


Fred J Figliano Troy University

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Fred J. Figliano is currently teaching pre-engineering courses in a high school setting. He is also an adjunct professor in the school of education at Troy University. Prior to his current positions, he graduated with a Ph.D. and an M.A.E.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Technology/STEM Education from Virginia Tech. As part of the graduate program in Technology/STEM education, he has taken part in courses to inform himself of STEM foundations, pedagogy, trends and issues, and research. Prior to Virginia Tech, he completed his undergraduate studies at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) receiving a B.S. in Technology Education.

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Teaching for Transfer in Engineering High School Programs: A Study in Progress This poster outlines a qualitative study in progress with the aim of fostering thetransfer of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) content while workingthrough engineering design problems. Teaching for transfer offers a vehicle to foster thetransfer of STEM content through the abstraction of knowledge in each individualdiscipline. Many theoretical approaches to explaining knowledge transfer are rooted in abelief that knowledge becomes generalizable through its abstraction. This study used acase study design. Student participants in this study are enrolled in engineering coursesand ranged from freshman to seniors. Attention was given to the interaction of students atvarious grade levels. This study also took place in a low-income school district that has a100% minority population. This group of students allowed for a unique lens, whichlooked at underrepresented groups and their experience with engineering design. Data collection included Audio/Video recordings, field notes, and groupinterviews over the course of several engineering design projects. Student work wasaligned with teaching for transfer lessons to identify whether the instruction was fosteringthe transfer of STEM content. Preliminary findings indicate that when students areovertly made aware of STEM content connections in the initial design projects they aremore likely to transfer STEM content on their own in later design projects. Findings suchas these have broad applications for curriculum development in the future. If teachershave the tools to teach for transfer and train students how to transfer knowledge they willbe better equipped to solve more complex engineering design problems as they get older.

Figliano, F. J. (2013, June), Teaching for Transfer in Engineering High School Programs: A Study in Progress Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22528

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