Advertisement

Multidisciplinary Discourses in an engineering design-based science curricular unit

  • Maurina L. ArandaEmail author
  • S. Selcen Guzey
  • Tamara J. Moore
Article

Abstract

To promote rich discourse around scientific and engineering practices, teachers may turn to engineering design-based science curricula; however, this has discursive demands which have yet to be examined in a unit focused on integration of engineering and science. To investigate these discursive demands, we expand on the definition of discourse to include the ways of knowing, doing, talking, reading, writing, and context within science and engineering—and refer to these as disciplinary Discourses. The following major research question guided this study: how are multiple Discourses enacted by both the teacher during whole class discussions and students in small groups in an engineering design-based curricular unit? In this descriptive case study, we investigated these disciplinary Discourses in a design-based unit that focused on integration of engineering into a sixth-grade genetics unit through whole-class videos and audio recordings of a target student group. Our findings suggest that while the Discourses present in whole class discussions often reflected the focus of the daily lesson, this unit creates a space for multidisciplinary Discourse to emerge between science and engineering. Also, this teacher merged everyday and more technical disciplinary Discourses to scaffold the students’ understanding. Finally, we observed multidisciplinary Discourses between science and engineering emerge in our student group, suggesting that students can successfully integrate the two disciplines. This study therefore begins to investigate the disciplinary Discourses present in a design-based curricular unit and specifically multidisciplinary Discourses that may enhance students’ understanding of both science and engineering.

Keywords

Discourse Engineering design-based STEM integration K-12 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge all the participants, including Mr. Ellis and his students, for their contribution to this work. We would also like to acknowledge the research group who placed so much effort into this Project and all its research endeavors. This work was funded by NSF Grant 1238140, EngrTEAMS: Engineering to Transform the Education of Analysis, Measurement, and Science in a Team-Based Targeted Mathematics-Science Partnership.

References

  1. Alozie, N. M., Moje, E. B., & Krajcik, J. S. (2010). An analysis of the supports and constraints for scientific discussion in high school project-based science. Science Education, 94(3), 395–427.Google Scholar
  2. Aranda, M. L., Lie, R., Selcen Guzey, S., Makarsu, M., Johnston, A., & Moore, T. J. (2018). Examining teacher talk in an engineering design-based science curricular unit. Research in Science Education.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-018-9697-8.Google Scholar
  3. Aurigemma, J., Chandrasekharan, S., Nersessian, N. J., & Newstetter, W. (2013). Turning experiments into objects: The cognitive processes involved in the design of a lab-on-a-chip device. Journal of Engineering Education, 102(1), 117–140.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20003.Google Scholar
  4. Berland, L. K., & Hammer, D. (2012). Framing for scientific argumentation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.  https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20446.Google Scholar
  5. Bleicher, R. E., Tobin, K. G., & McRobbie, C. J. (2003). Opportunities to talk science in a high school chemistry classroom. Research in Science Education, 33(3), 319–339.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025480311414.Google Scholar
  6. Blown, E. J., & Bryce, T. G. K. (2016). Switching between everyday and scientific language. Research in Science Education, 47, 1–33.Google Scholar
  7. Brophy, S., Klein, S., Portsmore, M., & Rogers, C. (2008). Advancing Engineering Education in P-12 Classrooms. Journal of Engineering Education, 97(3), 369–387.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, B. A., & Ryoo, K. (2008). Teaching science as a language: A content-first” approach to science teaching. Journal of Research in Science Teaching., 45(5), 29–553.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, B. A., & Spang, E. (2008). Double talk: Synthesizing everyday and science language in the classroom. Science Education, 92(4), 708–732.  https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.20251.Google Scholar
  10. Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2018). Five qualitative approaches to inquiry. In Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches.  https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004.
  11. Cunningham, C. M., & Carlsen, W. S. (2014). Teaching engineering practices. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25(2), 197–210.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-014-9380-5.Google Scholar
  12. Donaldson, M. (1978). Children’s minds. Glasgow: William Collins and Sons.Google Scholar
  13. Duschl, R. (2008). Science education in three-part harmony: Balancing conceptual, epistemic, and social learning goals. Review of Research in Education, 32(1), 268–291.Google Scholar
  14. Dym, C. L., Agogino, A., Eris, O., Frey, D. D., & Leifer, L. J. (2005). Engineering design thinking, teaching, and learning. Journal of Engineering Education.  https://doi.org/10.1109/emr.2006.1679078.Google Scholar
  15. Fleer, M. (2009). Understanding the National Academy of Engineeringdialectical relations between everyday concepts and scientific concepts within play-based programs. Research in Science Education, 39(2), 281–306.Google Scholar
  16. Fleer, M., & Ridgway, A. (2007). Mapping the relations between everyday concepts and scientific concepts within playful learning environments. Research Online. http://ro.uow.edu.au/llrg/vol1/iss1/2. Accessed 1 Dec 2017.
  17. Gee, J. P. (1999). An introduction to discourse analysis: theory and method. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. González-Howard, M., & McNeill, K. L. (2016). Learning in a community of practice: Factors impacting English-learning students’ engagement in scientific argumentation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53, 527–553.  https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21310.Google Scholar
  19. Gutiérrez, K. D., Baquedano-López, P., Alvarez, H., & Chiu, M. M. (1999). Building a culture of collaboration through hybrid language practices. Theory into Practice, 38, 87–93.Google Scholar
  20. Guzey, S. S., Tank, K., Wang, H., Roehrig, G., & Moore, T. (2014). A high-quality professional development for teachers of grades 3-6 for implementing engineering into classrooms. School Science and Mathematics, 114, 139–149.Google Scholar
  21. Hammond, L. (2001). Notes from California: An anthropological approach to urban science education for language minority families. Journal of Research in Science Teaching., 38, 939–999.Google Scholar
  22. Hicks, D. (1995). Discourse, learning, and teaching. Review of Research in Education, 21, 49–95.Google Scholar
  23. Hsu, P.-L., & Roth, W.-M. (2014). From authoritative discourse to internally persuasive discourse: Discursive evolution in teaching and learning the language of science. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 9(3), 729–753.Google Scholar
  24. John-Steiner, V., Meehan, T. M., & Mahn, H. (1998). A functional systems approach to concept development. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 5(2), 127–134.Google Scholar
  25. Johnston, S., Lee, A., & McGregor, H. (1996). Engineering as captive Discourse. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, 33(3), 128–136. (K-12 classrooms. Journal of Engineering Education, (July), 369–387).Google Scholar
  26. Jordan, M. E., & McDaniel, R. R. (2014). Managing uncertainty during collaborative problem solving in elementary school teams: The role of peer influence in robotics engineering activity. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23(4), 490–536.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2014.896254.Google Scholar
  27. Kittleson, J. M., & Southerland, S. A. (2004). The role of discourse in group knowledge construction: A case study of engineering students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(3), 267–293.Google Scholar
  28. Lee, C. D. (1993). Signifying as a scaffold for literary interpretation: The pedagogical implications of an African American discourse genre (NCTE research report 0085-3739, no. 26). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.Google Scholar
  29. Lee, O., & Fradd, S. H. (1998). Science for all, including students from non-English language backgrounds. Educational Researcher, 27(3), 12–21.Google Scholar
  30. Lemke, J. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
  31. Lloyd, P. (2000). Storytelling and the development of discourse in the engineering design process. Design Studies, 21(4), 357–373.Google Scholar
  32. Mcfadden, J., & Roehrig, G. (2018). Engineering design in the elementary science classroom: Supporting student discourse during an engineering design challenge. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 29(2), 231–262.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10798-018-9444-5.Google Scholar
  33. McNeill, K. L., & Pimentel, D. S. (2010). Scientific discourse in three urban classrooms: The role of the teacher in engaging high school students in argumentation. Science Education, 94, 203–229.Google Scholar
  34. Moje, E. B., Ciechanowski, K. M., Kramer, K., Ellis, L., Carrillo, R., & Collazo, T. (2004). Working toward third space in content area literacy: An examination of everyday funds of knowledge and Discourse. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(1), 38–70.Google Scholar
  35. Moje, E. B., Collazo, T., Carillo, R., & Marx, R. W. (2001). “Maestro, what is ‘quality’?” Language, literacy, and discourse in project-based science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38, 469–496.Google Scholar
  36. National Academy of Engineering. (2009). Engineering in K-12 education: Understanding the status and improving the prospects. Engineering education. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12635&page=R1. Accessed 1 Dec 2017.
  37. National Research Council. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education. Retrieved from www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165. Accessed 1 Dec 2017.
  38. NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. Washington, DC: The National Academic Press.Google Scholar
  39. Niebert, K., Marsch, S., & Treagust, D. F. (2012). Understanding needs embodiment: A theory-guided reanalysis of the role of metaphors and analogies in understanding science. Science Education, 96(5), 849–877.Google Scholar
  40. Norton, S. J. (2006). The use of design practice to teach mathematics and science. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 18(1), 19–44.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10798-006-9019-8.Google Scholar
  41. Psathas, G. (1995). Conversation analysis: the study of talk-in-interaction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Rainey, E., Maher, B., Coupland, D., Franchi, R., & Moje, E. (2017). But what does it look like? Illustrations of disciplinary literacy teaching in two content areas. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 61(4), 371–379.Google Scholar
  43. Roth, W. (1996). Learning to talk engineering design: Results from an interpretive study in a Grade 4/5 classroom. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 6(2), 107–135.  https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00419920.Google Scholar
  44. Selcen Guzey, S., & Aranda, M. (2017). Student participation in engineering practices and discourse: An exploratory case study. Journal of Engineering Education, 106(4), 585–606.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jee.20176.Google Scholar
  45. Solomon, J. (1983). Learning about energy: How pupils think in two domains. European Journal of Science Education, 5(1), 49–59.Google Scholar
  46. Wallace, C. (2004). Framing new research in science literacy and language use: Authenticity, multiple discourses, and the “Third Space”. Science Education, 88, 901–914.Google Scholar
  47. Watkins, J., Spencer, K., & Hammer, D. (2014). Examining young students’ problem scoping in engineering design. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 43–53.  https://doi.org/10.7771/2157-9288.1082.Google Scholar
  48. Wellington, J., & Osborne, J. (2001). Language and literacy in science education. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  50. Zeidler, D. L., & Lederman, N. G. (1989). The effect of teachers’ language on students’ conceptions of the nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 26(9), 771–783.  https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.3660260903.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologySan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Department of Curriculum and InstructionPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  4. 4.Department of EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations