Journal of Engineering Education
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Across academic disciplines, researchers have found that argumentation‐based pedagogies increase learners' achievement and engagement. Engineering educational researchers and teachers of engineering may benefit from knowledge regarding how argumentation related to engineering has been practiced and studied.
Drawing from terms and concepts used in national standards for K‐12 education and accreditation requirements for undergraduate engineering education, this study was designed to identify how arguments and argumentation related to the engineering‐designed world were operationalized in relevant literature.
Specified search terms and inclusion criteria were used to identify 117 empirical studies related to engineering argumentation and educational research. A qualitative content analysis was used to identify trends across these studies.
Overall, engineering‐related argumentation was associated with a variety of positive learner outcomes. Across many studies, arguments were operationalized in practice as statements regarding whether an existing technology should be adopted in a given context, usually with a limited number of supports (e.g., costs and ethics) provided for each claim. Relatively few studies mentioned empirical practices, such as tests. Most studies did not name the race/ethnicity of participants nor report engineering‐specific outcomes.
Engineering educators in K‐12 and undergraduate settings can create learning environments in which learners use a range of epistemic practices, including empirical practices, to support a range of claims. Researchers can study engineering‐specific outcomes while specifying relevant demographics of their research participants.
Wilson‐Lopez, A, Strong, AR, Hartman, CM, et al. A systematic review of argumentation related to the engineering‐designed world. J Eng Educ. 2020; 1– 26. https://doi-org.dist.lib.usu.edu/10.1002/jee.20318