Elementary Educatorsí Perceptions of Design, Engineering, and Technology: An Analysis by Ethnicity
Keywords: K-12 engineering education, teacher perceptions, minorities in engineering
AbstractThis mixed-methods pilot study extends researchers understandings about elementary teachers (K-6) perceptions of design, engineering, and technology. In the first phase of the study, a reliable and valid survey was given to thirty-five participants in a teacher professional development academy sponsored by the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning at Purdue University. Quantitative results suggest that minority teachers are more enthusiastic, more interested, and more motivated to pursue design, engineering, and technology opportunities and to teach these concepts to their students than majority teachers. In phase two, qualitative inquiry, via narrative analysis and open coding, was used to expound upon the responses from one majority and two minority academy participants. Teachers identified university and industrys disinterest in connecting to local student populations, poverty in the community, missing family units, opportunities to obtain a well-rounded education, and disadvantages within minority populations as factors that impact students eventual success in design, engineering, and technology.
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