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Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010029

Secondary Science Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Engineering: A Learner Analysis

1
School of Counseling, Leadership, Advocacy, & Design, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071, USA
2
School of Teacher Education, University of Wyoming, 1000 E University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe how US secondary science preservice teachers, or those preparing to teach middle and high school science, at one university, perceive engineering and teaching engineering within an epistemological framework of required domain components pre- and post-instruction (intervention) as well as over three cohort years. Their perceptions reveal relevant prior beliefs helpful for designing instruction to address an external need to prepare secondary science teachers to teach disciplinary content ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and science and engineering practices to meet the Next Generation Science Standards. Questionnaires administered pre- and post-instruction (intervention), as well as over three years, asked participants to decide whether various scenarios qualified as engineering and then to provide reasoning. Intervention instruction included whole-class discussions of engineering design practices. The responses to the questionnaire were analyzed for thematic content. The results indicate that the secondary science preservice teachers (n = 43) have a novice understanding of engineering and teaching engineering. They gain an emerging understanding during the secondary science methods courses, consistent in all three years with expanding perspectives from narrow discipline views. As their perceptions are refined, however, there are risks of oversimplification, which may lead to forming misconceptions. The recommendations for designing instruction such as secondary science methods courses and early career professional development include creating opportunities for preservice and early career teachers to explore and challenge their perceptions of engineering design practices integrated within science and engineering practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: engineering education; preservice teacher beliefs; perceptions; secondary science; NGSS; learner analysis; K-12 teachers engineering education; preservice teacher beliefs; perceptions; secondary science; NGSS; learner analysis; K-12 teachers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kilty, T.J.; Burrows, A.C. Secondary Science Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Engineering: A Learner Analysis. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 29.

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