June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.1612.1 - 22.1612.32
Engineering is exploding in popularity as a high school discipline, creating a demandto train both new and in-service teachers to teach engineering. In Texas for example,the goal is to have one teacher in every high school prepared to teach engineeringby 2011. In just one state, this goal will require nearly 2000 teachers equipped toteach engineering.So, what is engineering for high school? Mechanical? Chemical? Electrical? Curriculabeing developed to follow state standards primarily focus on engineering design.Therefore, the course could draw from several content areas.This intersection of content options, varying teacher content expertise, and theopen-ended nature of design-based courses creates a need for maximally adaptiveteachers. As researchers involved in the preparation of these teachers, weconceptualize the competencies they need as Adaptive Expertise (AE). Adaptiveexperts are innovative: they adapt to perform well in novel and fluid situations. They arealso efficient: they apply core knowledge appropriately and expeditiously.Common engineering educational methods succeed at developing either efficiency (e.g.,traditional lecture-based instruction) or innovation (e.g., problem-based instruction, orPBI). Challenge-based instruction (CBI) is centered around challenge problems, muchlike PBI. However, there are explicit components of the instructional cycle that presentinformation directly, more like traditional lecture-based instruction.Prior research demonstrates that undergraduate engineering students in CBI coursesimprove on both innovation and efficiency, showing growth in AE. However, theinstructional cycle in these studies was primarily aimed at teaching in problem-solvingcontexts. Therefore, we developed and conducted our research using a cycle adapted forthe design-based engineering course.We have shown CBI develops AE in engineering problem solving. The current researchinvestigates whether and how design-centered CBI develops AE.Thirty-three experienced mathematics and science teachers participated in a 6-weeksummer institute made up of 4 challenge units: 1) Vehicle Design Challenge: Design and build a superstructure on a moving platform maximizing cargo volume while minimizing drag. 2) Reverse Engineering Challenge: Perform a customer needs analysis for a household object, such as a hair dryer, and predict the internal mechanisms of the machine. 3) Robotics Design Challenge: Design and build a robot to detect objects and transport them to a goal area. 4) Final Design Challenge: Develop and collaborate on a design project in groups (similar to a capstone design experience).For each section of the institute, we administered pre- and post-tests measuring theteachers’ innovation and efficiency relative to the content area of the section.Additionally, we measured the teachers’ adaptive beliefs about engineering and learningat the beginning and end of the summer institute.Teachers’ AE improved for each section of the institute. On the efficiency measures,teachers improved significantly on each test and they improved significantly oninnovation on all tests except the Vehicle Design Challenge test. Additionally, teachershave fairly adaptive beliefs that remain high through the course.CBI can improve teachers’ AE in the space of one course. Our next step is to examinehow this transfers to development of students’ AE.
Martin, T., & Ko, P., & Peacock, S. B., & Rudolph, J. (2011, June), Using Design-Centered Challenge Based Instruction to Teach Adaptive Expertise in High School Engineering Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18787
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