- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2243516
- First Name Frackson
- Last Name Mumba
- Discipline Chemistry, Engineering, Life Sciences, Physics
Walter D Harman, Robert R Bailey, Vivien Chabalengula
Alexis Rutt, University of Mary Washington
State and national science standards require teachers to integrate engineering design into K-12 science teaching. Yet, many teachers have no formal preparation in teaching engineering design, and few models exist for preparing teachers to integrate engineering into their science teaching. Our engineering design integrated science teacher preparation model provides a possible framework for teacher educators and district leaders to follow as they prepare teachers for engineering design integrated science instruction on secondary classrooms.
Our research is guided by a broad level of inquiry related to how to effectively prepare secondary science pre-service teachers (PSTs) to teach engineering design integrated science (EDIS) in middle and high school classrooms. From this larger line of inquiry, we have investigated how the model relates to PSTs’ perspectives of, planning for, and implementation of EDIS instruction and have also identified outcomes for secondary student learning and perspectives of engineering design, among other areas of research.
Our model spans two semester-long courses. Most instruction related to engineering design and engineering design integrated science (EDIS) occurs in the first course in the fall. This course is a science methods course that is co-taught by two engineering professors, one engineering education professor, and one science education professor. Following instruction on the nature of science, lab safety, how to read and use state and national standards, and various instructional methods for teaching science, pre-service teachers (PSTs) engage in six-weeks of instruction around engineering design and EDIS. During this time, PSTs are introduced to engineering design and engineering design processes. They compare engineering processes with scientific inquiry and analyze already-created EDIS activities for science and engineering practices. They seek out and identify resources for teaching EDIS, consider challenges and solutions for integrating EDIS into secondary classes, and ultimately design and implement (in their student-teaching semester) an EDIS unit. During the second course, which is a seminar course that runs concurrently with the student teaching experience, students continue to receive support and instruction related to EDIS.
Over the past eight years, we have prepared over 80 secondary pre-service science teachers (PSTs) for teaching engineering design integrated science (EDIS). In addition to this development of new teacher leaders in EDIS, our research suggests that our model has helped pre-service teachers better understand and more favorably perceive engineering design processes, develop skills for creating EDIS instructional materials, and develop self-efficacy for teaching EDIS in science classrooms. These outcomes have also had a positive impact on their students’ perceptions of engineering design and their understanding of both science and engineering concepts. Additional deliverables include a framework for identifying the nature and extent to which science and engineering are integrated in EDIS activities, and practitioner journal articles and conference presentations showcasing the EDIS units developed by PSTs.
We believe that our model could be a possible guide or launching point for other teacher educators or district leaders to prepare science teachers for integrating engineering design into their science instruction. We are also now moving into a new phase of our model that also attends to EDIS for culturally and linguistically diverse students.