Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2002 Annual Conference

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference

First Page


Last Page


Conference Title

2002 Annual Conference

Conference Date

June 16-19, 2002


Montreal, QN, Canada


The National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century stated that “Better mathematics and science teaching is therefore grounded, first of all, in improving the quality of teacher preparation and in making continuing professional education available for all teachers 1.”

The "constructivist" paradigm 2,3 asserts that learning occurs through a process in which the student plays an active role in constructing the set of conceptual structures that constitute his or her own knowledge base. Some specific examples of the successful application of technology grounded in constructivist theory are evident in projects in the Carter Lawrence School (Tennessee), Clearview Elementary School (California), Ralph Bunche School (New York) and the Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT) studies.

At Iowa State University engineering faculty have worked collaboratively with teacher education faculty since 1996 to offer an undergraduate course entitled Toying with TechnologySM to elementary and secondary education majors4,5,6. This course, which employs the constructivist method and seeks to improve teacher preparation, began with 15 preservice teachers in the first semester and has grown to about 100 preservice teachers per year in the undergraduate course and 20 inservice teachers in the graduate course. In addition about 1000 K-12 students per year experience a one to two hour workshop and others, who are in classes taught by teachers who have been in these courses in previous years, get a longer, more in-depth experience. The Toying With TechnologySM Program maintains a web site at This technology literacy course provides students with an appreciation for the technological innovations that surround them. Studies have shown that students form many of their overall career and educational attitudes as early as elementary school7. Elementary (and even secondary) schoolteachers who have an appreciation for technology will likely convey that appreciation to their students. This will, in turn, broaden the horizons of these students regarding the opportunities they may have regarding careers in scientific and engineering disciplines.


This is a conference proceeding from Proceeding of ASEE Annual Conference (2002): 1. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Society for Engineering Education



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