You are here:

Impact of an Engineering Design-Based Curriculum Compared to an Inquiry-Based Curriculum on Fifth Graders' Content Learning of Simple Machines
ARTICLE

,

Research in Science & Technological Education Volume 34, Number 1, ISSN 0263-5143

Abstract

Background: Elementary Science Education is struggling with multiple challenges. National and State test results confirm the need for deeper understanding in elementary science education. Moreover, national policy statements and researchers call for increased exposure to engineering and technology in elementary science education. The basic motivation of this study is to suggest a solution to both improving elementary science education and increasing exposure to engineering and technology in it. Purpose/Hypothesis: This mixed-method study examined the impact of an engineering design-based curriculum compared to an inquiry-based curriculum on fifth graders' content learning of simple machines. We hypothesize that the LEGO-engineering design unit is as successful as the inquiry-based unit in terms of students' science content learning of simple machines. Design/Method: We used a mixed-methods approach to investigate our research questions; we compared the control and the experimental groups' scores from the tests and interviews by using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and compared each group's pre- and post-scores by using paired "t"-tests. Results: Our findings from the paired "t"-tests show that both the experimental and comparison groups significantly improved their scores from the pre-test to post-test on the multiple-choice, open-ended, and interview items. Moreover, ANCOVA results show that students in the experimental group, who learned simple machines with the design-based unit, performed significantly better on the interview questions. Conclusions: Our analyses revealed that the design-based "Design a people mover: Simple machines" unit was, if not better, as successful as the inquiry-based FOSS "Levers and pulleys" unit in terms of students' science content learning.

Citation

Marulcu, I. & Barnett, M. (2016). Impact of an Engineering Design-Based Curriculum Compared to an Inquiry-Based Curriculum on Fifth Graders' Content Learning of Simple Machines. Research in Science & Technological Education, 34(1), 85-104. Retrieved December 6, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on January 10, 2019. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.

Keywords