Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Curriculum & Instruction
Brenda M. Capobianco
Committee Member 1
Gabriela C. Weaver
Committee Member 2
The following master's thesis is composed of two manuscripts describing STEM teachers' orientations to science teaching through engineering within the context of the Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) partnership. The framework guiding both studies was science teaching orientations, a component of pedagogical content knowledge. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews, multi-day classroom observations, pre- and post-observation interviews, implementation plans, and written reflections. Data sources were analyzed to generate two orientations to science teaching through engineering design for each participant.
The first manuscript illustrates a single case study conducted with a sixth grade STEM teacher. Results of this study revealed a detailed picture of the teacher's goals, practices, assessments, and general views when teaching science through engineering design. Common themes across the teacher's instruction were used to characterize her orientations to science teaching through engineering design. Overall, the teacher's orientations showed a shift in her practice from didactic to student-centered methods of teaching as a result of integrating engineering design-based curriculum.
The second manuscript describes a comparative case study of two sixth grade SLED participants. Results of this study revealed more complex and diverse relationships between the teachers' orientations to teaching science through engineering design and their instruction. Participants' orientations served as filters for instruction, guided by their divergent purposes for science teaching. Furthermore, their orientations and resulting implementation were developed from knowledge gained in teacher education, implying that teacher educators and researchers can use this framework to learn more about how teachers' knowledge is used to integrate engineering and science practices in the K-12 classroom.
Rupp, Madeline Grace, "Multiple case studies of STEM teachers' orientations to science teaching through engineering design" (2014). Open Access Theses. 246.