The video case diagnosis task: Assessing pre-service teachers' knowledge of engineering design practices.
- With engineering practices and core ideas formally included in the Next Generation Science Standards, teacher preparation programs will need to consider new ways to support pre-service teachers' learning to teach both science and engineering. This is especially important at the elementary school level, where teacher candidates tend to have limited academic preparation in science and little formal ... read moreexposure to engineering. Because engineering has previously not been a common component of elementary school science education, there is limited research on how elementary pre-service teachers learn to teach engineering. In this research study in progress, we are developing and investigating an innovative model that introduces novice elementary teachers to "community-based engineering design" as a strategy for teaching and learning in urban schools. Community-based engineering experiences for urban schools involve the finding and solving of technological problems in students' local environment, such as their neighborhoods, community centers, or schools. Previous work on engineering design cognition (e.g., Cross, 2004) informs our work, and we are guided by the theoretical perspectives of situated learning (e.g., Lave & Wenger, 1991) and children's "funds-of-knowledge" (e.g., Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1992) We have three key research questions: During community-based engineering experiences, what is the evolution of novice urban elementary teachers': 1. Knowledge of engineering practices? 2. Abilities of engineering design? 3. Abilities to identify and respond productively to students' engineering ideas and practices? Participants in the study are graduate students in their final year of an elementary teacher preparation program. During their science teaching methods course, they solve a sample community-based engineering problem developed by the course instructor. They also design a community-based engineering mini-lesson to implement in their elementary school practicum setting. A subset of participants then attends a summer institute where they create and implement with elementary students a full community-based engineering module that is connected to the school district's science curriculum. To answer the research questions, we are employing a mixed methods study design. Data sources include video recording of the novice teachers during community-based engineering tasks, the Creative Engineering Design Assessment (Charyton et al, 2011), a Curriculum Critique and Revision task (adapted from Forbes, 2011), and a new Video Case Diagnosis (VCD) task. In this new instrument, novice teachers watch a brief video of elementary students attempting to solve an engineering design problem. They then list (a) the ideas that the students express about science phenomena and engineering solutions, (b) the science and engineering practices in which the students engage, and (c) three suggestions for how the teacher could respond productively to the students. In the pilot-testing of the VCD, the participating elementary pre-service teachers noticed and responded to students' use of science and engineering technical vocabulary (e.g., "lever," "weight") and students' physical prototypes, but did not frequently attend to other important engineering practices such as problem identification and consideration of multiple solutions. In our full paper and poster we present details about the new Video Case Diagnosis task and findings from its initial administration with pre-service teachers.read less
- Wendell, K. B. (2014, June), The Video Case Diagnosis Task: Assessing Pre-Service Teachers' Knowledge of Engineering Design Practices (work in progress) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23188. © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education.