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Identifying Initial Conceptions of Engineering and Teaching Engineering

Abstract

"The present study reports the use of an interview task to identify the initial conceptions of engineering and teaching engineering held by secondary mathematics and science teachers upon entering a professional development program. Results obtained from this task gave insight on several points, including: (1) the requirements for a task to be considered engineering; (2) the role of a student in practicing engineering; (3) the role of the teacher in teaching engineering; and (4) the differences in discourse choices, between mathematics and science teachers, pertaining to conceptions of engineering and teaching engineering. Through understanding the beliefs of our teachers, appropriate action may be taken to ensure that we are fostering desirable classroom environments, as well as better understand how to prepare them for challenges that may present themselves in the classroom."

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