Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Research in Engineering and Technology Education


National Center for Engineering and Technology Education

Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to better understand cognitive strategies used by high school technology education students who have participated in technology education instruction with an engineering design focus. Specifically, this study evaluated the cognitive strategies of students participating in Project Lead the Way curriculum programs compared with students participating in technology education programs partnering with the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE). High school students from these two groups were studied as they worked through an ill-defined problem: moving drinking water in developing countries. The data collected from these protocols was analyzed using a coding process and a list of universal technical mental processes (Halfin,1973) and OPTEMP software, (Hill, 1997) to record frequency and time of each mental process employed by the students. The study identified common cognitive strategies employed by students and identified where greatest emphasis was placed in the design process among the two groups. This study provides important insight for technology education as it seeks to implement engineering design.


This report made publicly available by the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE).

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