Asee peer logo

The Enacted Curriculum: A Video Based Analysis

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

High School Engineering Education

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1228.1 - 15.1228.24



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Amy Prevost University of Wisconsin, Madison

visit author page

Amy Prevost is a graduate student in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research has focused on the STEM career pipeline, especially related to engineering and engineering education and biotechnology.

visit author page


Mitchell Nathan University of Wisconsin, Madison

visit author page

Mitchell J. Nathan is Professor of Educational Psychology, Curriculum & Instruction, and Psychology, in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Chair of the Learning Sciences program. He is a research fellow at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and at the Center on Education and Work. He uses experimental and discourse-based research methods to understand the cognitive, social and embodied nature of STEM learning and instruction. He is currently co-principal investigator of the AWAKEN project in engineering education, along with Professors Sandra Shaw Courter and L. Allen Phelps.

visit author page


Benjamin Stein University of Wisconsin

visit author page

Benjamin Stein is a graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, where his work is in hyperspectral laser design. Before returning to school, he worked as a math instructor at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University and an electronics design engineer at ASML. These experiences as an engineer and educator lend themselves to his curricular analysis work for the education portion of the project.

visit author page


Allen Phelps University of Wisconsin, Madison

visit author page

L. Allen Phelps is Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, and Director of the Center on Education and Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the past two decades, his research, teaching, and public service work has focused on the interaction between the education and economic sectors with particular attention to policy initiatives, equity issues, and professional development.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Enacted Curriculum: A Video Based Analysis of Instruction and Learning in High School Pre-Engineering Classrooms Abstract

Engineering excellence serves as one of the primary vehicles for technological innovation, economic prosperity, national security, and advancements in public health. To address engineering preparation and appeal, technical education programs have emerged that provide hands-on, project-based curricula that focus on the integration of mathematics and science knowledge with engineering activities. Learning Sciences research emphasizes that integration of conceptual knowledge must be made explicit to learners to promote successful transfer of these ideas to novel problem-solving and design contexts.

In this study, we analyze the second foundation course in the Project Lead the Way™ sequence, Principles of Engineering ™. We found that while a significant portion of the instructors’ time was spent on class management tasks, such as collecting worksheets and taking roll (non-instructional time), lecturing and tutoring took up the bulk of the class time. Only a small amount of time in class was spent on non-interactions between the instructor and students. Second, a greater proportion of the total instruction time was devoted to concepts than skills; moreover most concept instruction co-occurred with skills instruction. Lastly, over one third of the instruction linked mathematics skills and concepts to engineering skills and concepts. Explicit connections were made more often than implicit connections, though, occasionally, no connections were made between the mathematics being discussed and the engineering activity that was the focus of the lesson.

These analyses show greater presence of concepts, and more frequent explicit conceptual connections between math and engineering than observed in earlier analyses of Introduction to Engineering™, the first course in the Project Lead the Way™ program. Thus, our observations of the Principles of Engineering™ courses show several ways in which instruction may provide stronger support for learning, engagement and transfer than was evident in observations of the Introduction to Engineering™ course. This empirical research stands to identify where engineering education promotes the deep and well-integrated concepts and skills that can lead to the successful transfer of that knowledge throughout one’s STEM education and conversely where the curriculum can be improved.


The Intended, Enacted, Assessed and Learned Curriculum

Curriculum analyses can be divided into the study of intended, enacted, assessed, and learned curricula. The intended curriculum refers to the content of the course or program under investigation. For K-12 education, this generally includes the printed course

Prevost, A., & Nathan, M., & Stein, B., & Phelps, A. (2010, June), The Enacted Curriculum: A Video Based Analysis Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16334

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015