June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
15.1228.1 - 15.1228.24
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
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