ERIC Number: EJ936268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
Knowing What Engineering and Technology Teachers Need to Know: An Analysis of Pre-Service Teachers Engineering Design Problems
Fantz, Todd D.; De Miranda, Michael A.; Siller, Thomas J.
International Journal of Technology and Design Education, v21 n3 p307-320 Aug 2011
With the rapid advances in civilization, technological breakthroughs, and a globally growing workforce, there is a strong need for engineers capable of working in the 21st century environment (Galloway, "The 21st century engineer: A proposal for engineering education reform." ASCE, Washington DC 2008). To help increase the quality and quantity of students choosing to pursue engineering, leaders have called on K-12 education to look for methods of inserting pre-engineering into the K-12 curriculum. Leaders in technology education have responded to the call to develop top quality candidates for engineers by infusing engineering into the technology education curriculum. Teacher preparation programs have used various methods to provide future technology teachers with the required content knowledge in order to effectively teach engineering design within the technology curriculum. One such program uses an ABET accredited engineering curriculum for the content and additional training to strengthen engineering education pedagogy for technology teachers. Students who graduate from this program possess both an engineering degree and technology teaching license. The purpose of this investigation was to ascertain the differences between technology teachers from this program and traditionally trained technology teachers. In particular, how each group incorporates the engineering design process in classroom assignments. Design briefs were gathered from pre-service teachers who graduated from the aforementioned program and compared to design briefs of practicing technology teachers around the United States. The engineering design process was used to develop a rubric to compare the usage of engineering content between the two groups. It was found that students with 4 years of engineering training were more likely to use all steps of the engineering design process. Further examination illustrates that engineering trained technology teachers were significantly more likely to use mathematical and analytical methods to determine optimum solutions. In order for technology education teachers to effectively infuse engineering design into coursework, they need to be familiar and comfortable with the engineering sciences and the design process. With limited engineering design experience, technology teachers are not as likely to use optimization techniques involving mathematical and analytical reasoning. These concepts are critical for engineering students to be successful in college engineering programs and beyond.
Descriptors: Assignments, Engineering Education, Engineering, Technology Education, STEM Education, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Preservice Teacher Education, Science Teachers, Educational Strategies, Teacher Education Curriculum, Vocational Education Teachers, Comparative Analysis, Design
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A