UTeachEngineering: Training Secondary Teachers to Deliver Design-Based Engineering Instruction
The University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering is partnering with the successful UTeach Natural Sciences program and the Austin Independent School District to develop and deliver UTeachEngineering, an innovative, design- and challenge-based curriculum for preparing secondary teachers of engineering.
To meet the growing need for engineering teachers in Texas, and to serve as a model in engineering education across the nation, UTeachEngineering has the following four professional development pathways to teacher preparedness, two for in-service teachers and two for pre-service teachers:
1. UTeach Master of Arts in Science and Engineering Education (MASEE);
2. Engineering Summer Institutes for Teachers (ESIT);
3. Engineering Certification Track for Physics Majors; and
4. Teacher Preparation Track for Engineering Majors.
Key elements of the four UTeachEngineering pathways are four new engineering courses focusing on engineering content and pedagogy: Fundamentals in Engineering and Design, Knowing and Learning in Engineering, Engineering Energy Systems, and Design of Machines and Systems. Leveraging these four courses in combination with existing UTeach pedagogical courses, UTeachEngineering anticipates reaching 650 teachers (80 pre-service and 570 in-service) over the first five years. In the future, it is expected that UTeachEngineering will be sustained as a vital program at the University of Texas at Austin.
UTeachEngineering is firmly rooted in current research in the field of engineering education and affords a much-needed opportunity to study the teaching and learning of engineering. During the development phase, UTeachEngineering is examining impacts on three specific groups: (1) Engineers involved in the creation of curricular materials and course design, (2) participants (current and future teachers) enrolled in the engineering courses, and (3) the students of these teachers. While the focused goal of UTeachEngineering is to train a cadre of secondary teachers, the project's vision is that all students are "engineering enabled," acquiring the design and interaction skills that would enable them to be successful in an engineering career should they choose one, while enhancing their lives and participation as global citizens even if they do not become engineers.