Author ORCID Identifier
Ron K. Skinner: 0000-0002-8102-4682
Danielle B. Harlow: 0000-0001-6721-7659
The practice of persisting and learning from design failures is essential to engineering design and offers unique ways of knowing and learning for K-12 students. To understand how students engage in the practice of persisting and learning from design failures, we must first understand how, if at all, they recognize that a design failure has occurred. We studied a classroom of fourth-grade students engaged in an engineering design challenge and examined the ways in which design failure occurred and how students recognized, neglected to recognize, or misinterpreted design failure. We found that, in addition to anticipating failure, conducting fair tests, and making focused observations, students must have an understanding and awareness of the evolving criteria and constraints of the design problem in order to recognize design failure. If lacking an understanding and awareness of criteria and constraints represents a barrier to recognizing an initial design failure, it also represents a barrier to recognizing any subsequent design failures in the design process and thus a barrier to persisting and learning from design failures.
Skinner, R. K.,
Harlow, D. B.
Recognition of Design Failure by Fourth-Grade Students During an Engineering Design Challenge.
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 12(2), Article 10.