Michael Grubbs, Baltimore County Public Schools asked Tanner Huffman, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association

PostedThursday, May 19, 2016 at 10:38 AM

Tanner, As Director of Research, Special Projects and Assessment, what areas are in need of research for K-12 Engineering?
1 Answer
  • Posted Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 11:12 AM
    Hi Mike,
    So that is a very broad question but I think its a nice way to start a conversation. I think an area that needs some clarity and consistency is the Nature of Engineering in K-12. The report Engineering in K-12 Education by the National Research Council (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12635/engineering-in-k-12-education-understanding-the-status-and-improving) is a great place to exam some explicit recommendations for K-12 Engineering Education Research. One recommendation (3) that seems to have progressed over the years is the idea that engineering design can be connected to mathematical reasoning and science inquiry. NGSS has done a commendable job answering this recommendation. Interesting enough, one aspect that is seemingly absent from NGSS is the idea that engineering can be used to elucidate ideas related to Technological Literacy (Social, political and environmental impacts of technology). I believe that investigating student "engagement in" and "learning of" STEM process (mathematical reasoning, scientific inquiry, engineering design) while situated within rich, technological contexts (e.g. NAE Grand Challenges) is a high-need research area. 
    There are plenty more interesting areas of potential research, especially if you consider Integrative (ed) STEM. Another report from NRC that highlights areas of research needed specific to the integration of STEM content with the "E" having a prominent place is "STEM Integration in K-12 Education" (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18612/stem-integration-in-k-12-education-status-prospects-and-an). In my opinion, the report provides a strong research agenda that will need the LinkEngineering Community to contribute to in order to advance.
    I could go on but I would like to hear your thoughts. Mike, what areas are in need of research from a school administrator's point of view?
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