Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.1194.1 - 9.1194.13
Teaching Science Concepts using LITEE Case Studies Shiva K. Sankar, Northwestern University Chetan S. Sankar, Department of Management P.K. Raju, Department of Mechanical Engineering Auburn University
Project Goals The NSF, in its Shaping the Future document (NSF, 1996), declared that improved science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education is central to shaping America's future. They expect that it will be increasingly necessary that citizens have a substantial understanding of the methods and content of science and technology and some understanding of their potential and limitations, as well as their interconnectedness.
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is seen as important not only for researchers but also for a diverse, technologically literate workforce and for an educated and informed citizenry (National Science Board, 2000; Cost Engineering, 1996). Despite the observation that America's basic research in science, math, and engineering is world class, its education is still not mature. Too many students leave STEM courses because they find them dull and unwelcoming. Too many new teachers enter school systems unprepared, without really understanding the relevance of STEM courses to the development of scientific and technological literacy in students. They also lack the excitement of discovery and the confidence and ability to help motivate children to develop interest in STEM courses. Too many graduates go out into the workforce ill prepared to solve real-world problems in a cooperative way, lacking the skills and the motivation to continue learning (NSF, 1996). Therefore, the first goal of this project is to develop course material to show the relevance of STEM education in solving real-world engineering and technological problems.
The teaching of domain-specific knowledge has long been recognized to be the primary objective of school and college education, but many students lack the breadth of knowledge and skills that are fundamental to the practice of their profession (Aldridge, 1994; Leidner and Jarvenpaa, 1993; Fergusson, 1992). There is now a growing realization among educators of the need to put a greater emphasis on imparting higher-level cognitive skills (e.g., reasoning, critical thinking, decision making, problem identification, and problem solving). A variety of national reports (Bok, 1986; Boyer, 1987, NSF, 1996) have also stressed the importance of teaching such skills to all levels of students. The learning experience must move from lecture as a dominant mode to include a significant level of active learning approaches. Cooperative learning approaches and other contextual experiential learning must be integrated into the classroom (Sheila, 1992). The relative neglect of teaching of higher-level cognitive skills is due to two ill- founded assumptions: (a) that these skills cannot be taught and (b) that they need not be taught. Evidence is accumulating that both assumptions are wrong: higher-level cognitive skills can be improved by training, and it is not safe to assume that such skills will emerge automatically as a matter of development or maturation (Nickerson, 1994; Hingorani, Sankar, and Kramer, 1997). Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Copyright @2004, American Society for Engineering Education
Sankar, S., & Sankar, C., & Raju, P. (2004, June), Teaching Science Concepts Using Litee Case Studies Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/12995
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