Understanding preservice teachers’ predispositions for teaching engineering education in Australian schools
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Engineering education is underrepresented in Australia at the primary, middle school and high school levels. Understanding preservice teachers’ preparedness to be involved in engineering will be important for developing an engineering curriculum. This study administered a literature-based survey to 36 preservice teachers, which gathered data about their perceptions of engineering and their predispositions for teaching engineering. Findings indicated that the four constructs associated with the survey had acceptable Cronbach alpha scores (i.e., personal professional attributes .88, student motivation .91, pedagogical knowledge .91, and fused curricula .89). However, there was no “disagree” or “strongly disagree” response greater than 22% for any of the 25 survey items. Generally, these preservice teachers indicated predispositions for teaching engineering in the middle school. Extensive scaffolding and support with education programs will assist preservice teachers to develop confidence in this field. Governments and education departments need to recognise the importance of engineering education, and universities must take a stronger role in developing engineering education curricula.