Engineering design in the classroom: Is it good science education or is it revolting?

William S. Carlsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The changing emphasis of science education today includes a shift from a narrowly disciplinary view of science to a more socially and technologically situated perspective. This article reports on the implementation of engineering design projects in about two dozen U. S. secondary science classrooms, following an inservice professional development course conducted at a university engineering college. Using data from an evaluation of the project and three sociological themes - secrecy and ownership, social persuasion and the status of facts, and the relationship between money and science-I argue that technological design projects provide a sociologically fruitful approach for teaching new themes in science education. However, teachers must rethink the nature of their subject matter, something that may be difficult if their training was disciplinary in emphasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Science Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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