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Blended Design and Project Based Learning: a future for engineering education
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Tuesday, December 8 • 2:00pm - 2:15pm
| 5C | Australian Primary School Students' Perceptions of Engineering

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STEM education is argued to be vital to Australia’s future prosperity (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2014). In the context of primary school education, STEM learning often focuses on science and mathematics without explicit reference to engineering. While there have been some studies conducted in the United States which have investigated primary-school-aged children’s conceptions of engineers, there is a lack of research which has been conducted regarding Australian students’ conceptions of engineers and engineering. Several studies in the United Sates have used a ‘Draw an Engineer Test’ (DAET) to capture primary students’ thinking. The DAET is an adaptation of the ‘Draw a Scientist Test’ developed by Chambers (1983).
When used in the United States, the DAET has shown that students typically view engineers as performing one of five main roles. That is, they either build, fix, create, design or drive (Knight & Cunningham, 2004). Capobianco, Diefes‐dux, Mena, and Weller (2011) describe their observations using the similar categories of, mechanic, laborer, technician and designer. For the first time in 2017 ‘Design and Technologies’ will be a mandated component of the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014) and will include primary-level assessment standards for engineering activities. If Australian students display similar conceptions of engineering as American students, these conceptions will be at odds with aspects of the new Australian Curriculum and the general aims of promoting engineering through STEM education.


Tuesday December 8, 2015 2:00pm - 2:15pm
Zeally Room RACV Torquay map C5

Attendees (7)