The Impact of an Engineering Design Curriculum on Science Reasoning in an Urban Setting
Journal of Science Education and Technology Volume 18, Number 3, ISSN 1059-0145
This study examines the use of engineering design to facilitate science reasoning in high-needs, urban classrooms. The Design for Science unit utilizes scaffolds consistent with reform science instruction to assist students in constructing a design solution to satisfy a need from their everyday lives. This provides a meaningful context in which students could reason scientifically. Eighth grade students from two urban schools participated in the unit. Both schools contained large percentages of racial/ethnic minority and economically disadvantaged students. Students demonstrated statistically significant improvement on a paper-and-pencil, multiple-choice pre and post assessment. The results compare favorably with both a high-quality inquiry science unit and a traditional textbook curriculum. Implications for the use of design-based curricula as a viable alternative for teaching science reasoning in high-needs, urban settings are discussed.
Silk, E.M., Schunn, C.D. & Cary, M.S. (2009). The Impact of an Engineering Design Curriculum on Science Reasoning in an Urban Setting. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 18(3), 209-223.
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