Engineering the Classroom: Engineering science as the core for technology teacher education for the 21st century

By Michael De Miranda1, National Center for Learning & Teaching in Nanoscale Science & Engineering2

1. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 2. Northwestern University

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According to the American Society for Engineering Education, the four STEM disciplines should not be taught in isolation in a school curriculum, but interdisciplinary reinforced, and continually cross referenced, as part of a dynamic triangle that ultimately researches, designs, and creates the way we live, work and play. Therefore it only makes solid academic and professional sense to prepare teachers who are highly qualified to deliver this integrated content in a K-12 setting. This is a powerful, yet critical void in most public education and professional teacher preparation programs who desire to respond to the call for introducing engineering concepts into the professional teacher preparation programs that train technology education teachers.

Significant questions exist around the requisite content knowledge required of a technology teacher to infuse valid engineering concepts into the K-12 classroom. What are the appropriate mathematical and analytical levels required of pre-service teacher preparation? Can engineering trained pre-service professionals deliver instruction and teach engineering design lessons that are content and context valid? These and many more questions that remain as the technology teacher preparation community begin to join with other key stakeholders in preparing teachers to respond to the national call for a stronger engineering STEM emphasis in K-12 education.

This NCLT seminar presentation will report on content analysis research of pre-service teacher/engineering science students’ ability to conceptualize, design, and evaluate student design brief solutions in high school technology classes. This research is just a part of a larger challenge within the engineering and technology teacher preparation community to understand what pre-service teacher candidates need to know and be able to do to teach engineering design in a context and content valid manner. This report on the student instructional design content analysis will use a quantitative coding scheme that maps the design brief problem elements and student solutions to the engineering design process.


Michael De Miranda Michael De Miranda's expertise in engineering and technology education focuses in the areas related to curriculum selection and use of cognitively-based instructional strategies, materials, and activities that support the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K-12 classrooms. In addition to serving as an international consultant and workshop provider in over 9 different countries, Professor De Miranda has made numerous presentations at regional national and international conferences.

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  • Michael De Miranda, National Center for Learning & Teaching in Nanoscale Science & Engineering (2009), "Engineering the Classroom: Engineering science as the core for technology teacher education for the 21st century ,"

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Northwestern University, Evanston, IL