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Around the world, pre-college teachers are increasingly being called upon to address engineering, often as part of science instruction. Teachers are typically tasked with engaging students in authentic engineering design activities to promote students’ development of design practices while deepening their knowledge of relevant science concepts. Planning and implementing engineering experiences that authentically reflect the field require that teachers hold accurate perceptions of what engineering is, how it works, and how it is related to yet distinct from science. As teacher education and research efforts in this area grow, there is a need for high-quality instruments that elicit key aspects of how teachers think about engineering. However, few instruments are currently available, and each has significant limitations. This study presents a new instrument, the Scope of Engineering Survey, that addresses a critical dimension of teachers’ perceptions of engineering. The ‘‘scope of engineering’’ refers to the kinds of projects and activities that do and do not fall under the umbrella of engineering work. Individuals who hold accurate views on the scope of engineering understand the breadth of engineering work, but can also differentiate engineering work from that of technicians or scientists. This is essential for teachers, because holding accurate views on the scope of engineering places them in a far better position to design and implement authentic engineering activities in their classrooms. This study describes how the Scope of Engineering Survey was developed, provides evidence of the validity and reliability of the instrument, and gives recommendations for its future uses. Results from a large-scale field test are reported and baseline statistics are provided for key survey measures.
Development and Validation of a Survey Instrument Targeting Teachers’ Perceptions of the Scope of Engineering.
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 11(2), Article 4.