While there is a growing interest in infusing engineering into elementary classrooms, very little is known about how well positionedelementary teachers are to teach engineering. This study examined elementary teachers’ perceptions of and familiarity with design,engineering, and technology (DET). We collected data from 192 elementary teachers using the DET teacher survey. While theseelementary teachers thought teaching DET was important (Mean 5 3.46; SD 5 0.43), they were relatively unfamiliar with DET (Mean 52.01; SD 5 0.65). Years of teaching experience did not affect teachers’ familiarity with teaching DET and their perceptions of how important DET was. Moderately experienced teachers showed stereotypical views of engineering. Furthermore, teachers’ motivations toteach DET differed based on their ethnic backgrounds. The results suggest a need to improve elementary teachers’ familiarity with design,engineering, and technology. Professional development activities should be guided by research on teacher knowledge, and establish analignment between motivations of teachers and expectations of their schools to ensure administrative support.
Hsu, Ming-Chien; Purzer, Senay; and Cardella, Monica E.
"Elementary Teachers’ Views about Teaching Design, Engineering, and Technology,"
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER):
2, Article 5.