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ERIC Number: ED519600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 260
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-8631-3
ISSN: N/A
Investigating the Impact of a LEGO(TM)-Based, Engineering-Oriented Curriculum Compared to an Inquiry-Based Curriculum on Fifth Graders' Content Learning of Simple Machines
Marulcu, Ismail
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College
This mixed method study examined the impact of a LEGO-based, engineering-oriented curriculum compared to an inquiry-based curriculum on fifth graders' content learning of simple machines. This study takes a social constructivist theoretical stance that science learning involves learning scientific concepts and their relations to each other. From this perspective, students are active participants, and they construct their conceptual understanding through the guidance of their teacher. With the goal of better understanding the use of engineering education materials in classrooms the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council in the book "Engineering in K-12 Education" conducted an in-depth review of the potential benefits of including engineering in K-12 schools as (a) improved learning and achievement in science and mathematics, (b) increased awareness of engineering and the work of engineers, (c) understanding of and the ability to engage in engineering design, (d) interest in pursuing engineering as a career, and (e) increased technological literacy (Katehi, Pearson, & Feder, 2009). However, they also noted a lack of reliable data and rigorous research to support these assertions. Data sources included identical written tests and interviews, classroom observations and videos, teacher interviews, and classroom artifacts. To investigate the impact of the design-based simple machines curriculum compared to the scientific inquiry-based simple machines curriculum on student learning outcomes, I compared the control and the experimental groups' scores on the tests and interviews by using ANCOVA. To analyze and characterize the classroom observation videotapes, I used Jordan and Henderson's (1995) method and divide them into episodes. My analyses revealed that the design-based "Design a People Mover: Simple Machines" unit was, if not better, as successful as the inquiry-based FOSS "Levers and Pulleys" unit in terms of students' content learning. I also found that students in the engineering group outperformed students in the control group in regards to their ability to answer open-ended questions when interviewed. Implications for students' science content learning and teachers' professional development are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A