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Improving student learning in STEM education: Promoting a deep approach to problem-solving
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8664-6854
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6705-1660
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses educational practice related to problem-solving within STEM education. A conceptual framework is shaped by conceptualising problem-solving first as an educational aim, then as a learning activity. Five principles for purposeful active learning are derived. Through this theoretical lens we investigate an active learning method called student-led recitations. In this activity students are randomly selected to present solutions to given problems, requiring them to solve the problems in advance and prepare for presenting their solutions. Drawing on the conceptual framework and informed by course results and qualitative data in the form of student interviews and teacher experiences, we analyse the teaching method. One conclusion is to challenge recitations based on teacher demonstrations of problem-solving. We suggest that student-led recitations are a cost-effective intervention, improving learning while affording more stimulating roles to both students and teachers. 

Keywords [en]
problem-solving, Feisel-Schmitz technical taxonomy, deep and surface procedural approaches to learning, active learning, student-led recitations
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217276OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-217276DiVA, id: diva2:1154903
Note

QCR 20171107

Available from: 2017-11-06 Created: 2017-11-06 Last updated: 2017-11-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring the dual nature of engineering education: Opportunities and challenges in integrating the academic and professional aspects in the curriculum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the dual nature of engineering education: Opportunities and challenges in integrating the academic and professional aspects in the curriculum
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Engineering education is both academic, emphasising theory in a range of subjects, and professional, preparing students for engineering practice. Ideally, these aspects are also in a meaningful relationship in the curriculum, but the dual nature ideal is simultaneously a source of tensions. This theme is explored in the context of engineering education development, represented by the CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate) approach. Cases on programme and course level illustrate how the dual nature ideal is pursued in the integrated curriculum. CDIO is also compared with PBL (problem/project-based learning), and opportunities to further emphasise research in the CDIO community are explored.

Two critical accounts suggest widening the perspective from curriculum development per se, to the organisational conditions. First, the views of Carl Richard Söderberg (1895-1979) are compared with CDIO, showing considerable similarities in ideals, arguments, and strategies. This leads to a critique of the swinging pendulum metaphor. Then, experiences of unsustainable change leads to a model called organisational gravity, explaining the stability of programmes and implying two change strategies, with different availability, risks, resource demands, and sustainability of results.

Refuting a rationalist view on organisation, an institutional logics perspective is used to analyse the tensions within engineering education. It is suggested that the logics of the academic profession dominates over the logics of the engineering profession, hence favouring “teaching theory” over “teaching professionals”. The integrated curriculum strategy is contingent on educators’ ability to unite theoretical and professional aspects in courses, and on the collegial capacity for coordination. Finally, the CDIO initiative is conceptualised as a field-level driver of institutional innovation, identifying some strategies for legitimacy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. p. 92
Series
TRITA-ECE ; 2017:2
Keywords
engineering education, professional education, dual nature, engineering education development, CDIO Initiative, CDIO approach, CDIO Standards, PBL, engineering education research, Carl Richard Söderberg, organisational gravity, institutional logics
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Technology and Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217315 (URN)978-91-7729-596-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-13, Salongen, KTHB, Osquars backe 31, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20171108

Available from: 2017-11-08 Created: 2017-11-07 Last updated: 2017-11-10Bibliographically approved

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Edström, KristinaHellström, Per-Erik

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