ERG SES H 07, Sciences, Mathematics and Education
A nation’s economic competiveness and youth’s ability to survive and succeed in the modern society may be enhanced by a quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education (Zollman, 2012) because, when a real life context is aimed to be understood, many different subjects need to be considered. For example, if an individual wants to understand why a bridge did not collapse after an earth quake, physics, mathematics and engineering knowledge are required to be used together. Therefore, solutions of the problems that people experience in their daily lives require the integration of different disciplines because the problems are multidisciplinary (Roehrig, Wang, Moore & Park, 2012). Additionally, Brophy, Klein, Postmore and Rogers (2008) states that current ways of teaching are not able to reflect recent practices of science and technology and the quality of daily life and they need to be reconciled with the current changes. So, in education, focus on the subject matter knowledge switched to technology use, skill development and integration of different subjects, recently.
Brophy et al. (2008) mention that ‘engineering’ is the required discipline to solve hands-on related and multidisciplinary problems of modern world. Not surprisingly, the engineering aspect of STEM gets more attention than the other aspects due to the sudden development in technology changes the needs for workforce and research needs to draw attention to its importance (Katehi, Pearson, & Feder, 2009; Roehrig et al., 2012). Engineering is “a catalyst for integrated STEM education” (NAE et al., 2009, p. 150) and it is also a ‘vehicle’ that provides a real-world context for learning science and mathematics, promote problem-solving skills, communication and teamwork (Hirsch, Carpinelli, Kimmel, Rockland & Bloom, 2007; Mann, Mann, Strutz, Duncan & Yoon, 2011).
As mentioned above, the nature of current problems are multidisciplinary and people need to integrate different disciplines to solve them (Roehrig et al., 2012). Engineering can be used as a facilitator to integrate different STEM subject areas to solve a problem from real-life context (Hirsch et al., 2007; Mann et al., 2011); thus, there should be a catalyst to integrate subjects and ‘engineering’ in STEM education is one of the best (NAE et al., 2009). Recently, just because of this, STEM education is one of the rising assets in education (Zollman, 2012). Although the number of countries that emphasize the importance of STEM education is increasing, teachers still find it hard to implement STEM education as an integrated way of teaching (Mann et al. 2011). So, it is important to understand teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of implementing STEM education to develop a plan to promote their skills for implementing STEM education. In fact, it is important to understand teachers’ knowledge regarding engineering-related concepts and how they perceive engineering because, in Turkey context, schools implement a curriculum that integrates science, technology and mathematics and they need to use engineering as a facilitator of hands-on approach.
The main purpose of this project is to identify what ECE teachers, who works in Ankara, Turkey, know about engineering concept. The study evaluates the ECE teachers’ perceptions about engineering-related concepts and how the current ECE program (MoNE, 2013) in Turkey affect what ECE teachers know about engineering. By means of this study, the researcher’s aim is to find out whether ECE teachers are aware of engineering-related concepts included in the program. The research questions are designed in order to evaluate the teachers’ perceptions and their classroom practices regarding the engineering concept.
- What do ECE teachers know about engineering concept?
- What are the ECE teachers’ perceptions on the engineering concept?
Brophy, S. Kleın, S. Portsmore, M. & Rogers, C. (2008). advancing engineering education in P-12 classrooms. Journal of Engineering Education, 97(3), 369-387 Creswell, J. W. (2012). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Hirsch, L. S., Carpinelli, J. D., Kimmel, H., Rockland, R., & Bloom, J. (2007). The differential effects of pre-engineering curricula on middle school students’ attitudes to and knowledge of engineering careers. Published in the proceedings of 2007 Frontiers in Education Conference, Milwaukee, WI. Johnson, C. (2012). Implementation of STEM education policy: Challenges, progress and lessons learned. School Science & Mathematics, 112(1), 45-55. Katehi, L., Pearson, G., & Feder, M. (Eds.).2009. National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council report: Engineering in K-12 education. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Mann, E. L., Mann R. L., Strutz M. L., Duncan D. & Yoon S. Y. (2011). Integrating engineering into K-6 curriculum developing talent in the stem disciplines. Journal of Advanced Academics 22(4), 639-658 Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı (2013). Okul Öncesi Eğitim Programı, (Rep. No: 132). Retrieved from the Ministry of National Education website: tegm.meb.gov.tr National Academy of Engineering, Katehi, L., Pearson, G., & Feder, M. (Eds.). (2009).Engineering in K-12 education: Understanding the status and improving the prospects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Roehrig, G H., Moore, T J., Wang, H., & Park, M. S. (2012). Is Adding the E enough? Investigating the impact of K-12 engineering standards on the implementation of STEM integration. School Science & Mathematics, 112(1), 31-44. Wang, H., (2012). A new era of science education: science teachers’ perceptions and classroom practices of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) integration. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Zollman, A. (2012). Learning for STEM literacy: STEM literacy for learning. School Science and Mathematics, 112(1), 12-19.
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Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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