An analysis of the prescribed and enacted curriculum of an engineering unit on helmet design




Gustafson, Katherine Alessandra

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Using grounded theory, action research and ethnographic case study methodology this research explores the contrasting ways in which a prescribed curriculum is translated into an enacted curriculum. The current study looks at a 12 week secondary engineering unit (helmet design) which was designed with significant input from a university based team including content experts, learning scientists, master teachers, classroom teachers and school district administrators as part of a grant focused on the creation of a high school engineering course. The unit was enacted in a rural/suburban school by a group of average students by a teacher with high content knowledge in engineering. Five thrusts were identified for analysis including Assessment, Activities, Apparatus, Technology and Standards. Findings indicate much alignment with Apparatus, Standards and Technology thrusts and disparity within the Assessment and Activities thrusts.



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