Intersecting engineering and literacies: A review of the literature on communicative literacies in k-12 engineering education

Katarina N. Silvestri, Michelle E. Jordan, Patricia Paugh, Mary B. McVee, Diane L. Schallert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given the increased attention on pre-college engineering education and its disciplinary nature pertaining to language, discourses, and communicative practices, this state-of-the-art literature review focused on findings of research articles informed by qualitative and quantitative data to foreground communicative literacies within engineering design teams at the pre-college level. A disciplinary literacies framework was used to interpret and analyze published works in this particular domain. A search, selection, and inclusion process typical for state-of-the-art reviews yielded 33 studies. Constant comparison and open-coding led to clustering studies under five overarching themes in ranked order of frequency of occurrence pertaining to: (a) engineering disciplinary communicative literacies in practice; (b) matters of access with populations underrepresented in engineering; (c) learning STEM content through engineering design; (d) affective responses to uncertainty and risk in engineering design; and (e) evaluating the quality of collaboration. With respect to the themes, we discuss possibilities of using literacy frameworks to deepen theoretical and methodological insights into the study of phenomena related to within-group communicative literacies in K-12 engineering spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalJournal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Communication
  • Disciplinary literacies
  • Engineering education
  • Small-group interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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