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Representation of Science and Engineering Practices and Design Skills in Engineering Design-Integrated Science Units Developed by Pre-service Teachers

Abstract

The current US science education reforms call for integrating engineering design in science instruction requires teachers to develop and teach engineering design-integrated science (EDIS) lessons. However, very few teachers have received training in engineering and how to integrate engineering design into science lessons. In response to this challenge, our teacher education program has been training secondary pre-service science teachers in engineering design and how to develop EDIS instructional materials. Thus, this study reports on the representation of science and engineering practices and engineering design skills in the EDIS instructional units developed by participant pre-service teachers, in aggregate and by science discipline and by different sections within the units. Results show that all science and engineering practices and design skills were included in the units. However, engineering practices and design skills were covered more than science practices in the EDIS instructional units. Pre-service teachers did not treat engineering design as an add-on or culminating activity. Instead, they planned the units to teach science through engineering design process, which was consistent to the model of our intervention, and the Next Generation Science Standards. We conclude that instruction on engineering design process and how to integrate it in science instruction through intensive professional development activities can enhance pre-service science teachers’ abilities to develop EDIS instructional units, even for science subjects like life science.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge all participant pre-service teachers for attending the intervention and developing the EDIS units we analyzed for this study.

Funding

This research was supported by two National Science Foundation award numbers DUE 1439858 and EEC 1636443. The funding enabled researchers to do the intervention on engineering design and collect data.

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Correspondence to Frackson Mumba.

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Mumba, F., Rutt, A. & Chabalengula, V.M. Representation of Science and Engineering Practices and Design Skills in Engineering Design-Integrated Science Units Developed by Pre-service Teachers. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 21, 439–461 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-022-10266-6

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