Teacher Noticing and Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Engineering Design: Case Studies of Two Elementary Teachers.
- A qualifying paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education. Abstract: The goal of the research presented here is to examine the resources teachers inexperienced in engineering bring to engineering design challenges in elementary classrooms. Engineering concepts, and specifically engineering design, have been incrementally added to ... read moreK-12 standards and curricula in the last 20 years. In-service teachers who have never had coursework in engineering, or teaching engineering, will be tasked with finding or creating, and implementing, engineering design lessons; they will also be tasked with ensuring these lessons integrate learning objectives from existing disciplines and introducing new technology into their teaching repertoire. In this study, I constructed two cases of elementary teachers conducting engineering design challenges. Within those cases, I analyzed the way the teachers used their pedagogical content knowledge—through the frameworks of teacher noticing and attention-dependent knowledge—to relate to student thinking and make decisions in the classroom, and evaluate their practice through viewing video after the lesson enactment. I found that teachers did sometimes interrogate student thinking, but not always to the extent that they could accommodate this thinking in the lesson; additionally, teachers seemed to rely on their own understanding of engineering design when making pedagogical decisions. When reflecting on video of their practice, many of the teachers' choices during the lesson were elucidated; however, what they noticed from the videos regarding their pedagogical decisions and the thinking and actions of their students was not to such a level they recognized the connections between the two. Professional development addressing the teachers' engineering subject and pedagogical content knowledge, along with further video-club style analysis of their practice with groups of their colleagues, would likely improve teacher noticing during engineering design lessons.read less