Forging futures? Engineering in the primary school curriculum

Jane Andrews, Robin Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference publication

Abstract

Starting with the research question, "How can the Primary School Curriculum be developed so as to spark Children's Engineering Imaginations from an early age?" this paper sets out to critically analyse the issues around embedding Engineering in the Primary School Curriculum from the age of 5 years. Findings from an exploratory research project suggest that in order to promote the concept of Engineering Education to potential university students (and in doing so begin to address issues around recruitment / retention within Engineering) there is a real need to excite and engage children with the subject from a young age. Indeed, it may be argued that within today's digital society, the need to encourage children to engage with Engineering is vital to the future sustainable development of our society. Whilst UK Government policy documents highlight the value of embedding Engineering into the school curriculum there is little or no evidence to suggest that Engineering has been successfully embedded into the elementary level school curriculum. Building on the emergent findings of the first stage of a longitudinal study, this paper concludes by arguing that Engineering could be embedded into the curriculum through innovative pedagogical approaches which contextualise project-based learning experiences within more traditional subjects including science, history, geography, literacy and numeracy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Engineering Education Symposium 2011
PublisherResearch in Engineering Education Network
Pages499-506
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-62748-184-7
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event2011 Research in Engineering Education Symposium - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 4 Oct 20117 Oct 2011

Symposium

Symposium2011 Research in Engineering Education Symposium
Abbreviated titleREES 2011
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period4/10/117/10/11

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