Broadening the Pool of Precollege Engineering Teachers: The Path Experienced by a Music Teacher

Medha Dalal, Adam R. Carberry, Richard Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Contribution: This single case study represents a unique attempt to examine a music teacher's experiences as he took on the challenge of teaching a high school level engineering course. The study contributes to the growing body of research and conversations around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) versus non-STEM beliefs, perceptions, and practices in precollege education. This work informs future teacher professional development (PD) and hiring efforts to broaden the pool of teachers capable of teaching precollege engineering classes. Background: Engineering education is growing in precollege settings but recruiting willing and qualified teachers has been a continuous challenge. Teacher PD programs should consider a broader and inclusive approach that builds confidence and empowers teachers from all disciplinary backgrounds (STEM and non-STEM) to teach precollege engineering classes. Such opportunities are not always made available to non-STEM teachers. Research Questions: 1) How does a high school music teacher with a non-STEM background experience teaching an introductory engineering course? 2) What are the necessary preconditions that could help bridge non-STEM content areas to engineering, specifically for teacher PD efforts? Methodology: Multiple interviews, teacher reflection entries, and classroom observations were open coded using a two-cycle coding approach that resulted in six themes. Findings: Results highlight the necessary preconditions and processes involved in bridging seemingly disparate subject areas that could lead to confidence building and empowerment of non-STEM teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-355
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • Engineering education
  • precollege programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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