Fundamental research: Developing a rubric to assess children's drawings of an engineer at work

Julie Thomas, Nicole M. Colston, Tyler Ley, Beverly DeVore-Wedding, Leslie R. Hawley, Juliana Utley, Toni Ivey

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Research in elementary engineering education focuses on the ways a developing body of curricula enhances children's conceptions of engineers. To this effort, researchers have focused on exploring children's knowledge, interests, and attitudes related to the work of an engineer. Given that currently available measurement instruments are defined by check-lists, we hoped to expand available assessments to include a research-based tool to measure children's conceptual understanding about the work of an engineer. The purpose of this research study was to develop a way to assess children's drawings of engineers at work. Specifically, we wondered: What defines the varied range of children's contextual understanding about the work of an engineer as it relates to applied science and mathematics? Research efforts were informed by others' work with children's drawing prompts: the Draw-a-Scientist Test (DAST) and the Draw-an-Engineer Test (DAET). Grounded theory methods guided our query about how 4th and 5th grade students (from rural, Midwestern schools) described their knowledge and understanding about the work of an engineer. Our data consisted of children's drawings (n=940) of engineers at work and written explanations about the engineer's gender, work effort, and applications of science and mathematics. Data were analyzed by seven researchers through a constant comparison of data. The resulting theoretical propositions were organized into a rubric that captures the continuum of children's understanding about the work of engineers. Here we describe the development and controlled application our draw-an-engineer assessment tool. The rubric and scoring guide (to manage inter-rater reliability and insure objectivity) will be defined in a future manuscript.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016

Other

Other123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period6/26/166/29/16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Thomas, J., Colston, N. M., Ley, T., DeVore-Wedding, B., Hawley, L. R., Utley, J., & Ivey, T. (2016). Fundamental research: Developing a rubric to assess children's drawings of an engineer at work. Paper presented at 123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, United States.