A valid and reliable survey instrument for measuring K-12 teachers' perceptions and needs on design, engineering, and technology

Senay Yasar, Dale Baker, Sharon Kurpius, Stephen Krause, Chell Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Increasing the number of technologically literate people through teaching design, engineering, and technology (DET) in K-12 classrooms is increasingly becoming a national goal. National Science Education Standards, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, and Standards for Technological Literacy list similar objectives related to DET education. While the need and objectives are clear, teachers' familiarity and confidence in teaching DET concepts are not well known. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to develop an instrument that would identify K-12 teachers' perceptions of, and needs for, DET. The survey results will provide insights and information for curriculum developers who want to bring engineering concepts into the K-12 curriculum. The instrument was developed by collaboration among people with backgrounds in science education, K-12 teaching, counseling, and engineering. The principal component analysis method was used to validate the instrument. This analysis revealed four factors defined as: 1) the importance of DET; 2) teachers' familiarity with DET; 3) teachers' perceptions of stereotypical characteristics of engineers; and 4) teachers' perceptions of characteristics of engineers. The internal consistency reliability estimate for the survey was 0.88. The analysis of 98 teachers' responses to these items indicated that: a) the importance of DET in the curriculum was stronger for female teachers as compared to male teachers, t (96) = 2.42, p < 0.05; b) elementary school teachers were least likely to teach DET in their curriculum as compared to middle school and high school teachers, F (2, 28.81) = 4.35, p < 0.05; and c) DET was more likely to be integrated into the science curriculum by teachers with moderate experience compared to teachers with little experience or extensive teaching experience, F (2, 85) = 2.86, p < 0.05. In addition, teachers were unfamiliar with DET, lacked confidence in their ability to teach DET, and held stereotypes about the skills needed to be an engineer. Implications of the results are discussed in terms of K-12 pre-service teacher preparation and in-service teacher professional development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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