The Perception of Engineers by Middle School Students through Drawings

Aysegul ERGUN1 , Muhammed Dogukan BALCIN2
1Manisa Celal Bayar University, Faculty of Education, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, TURKEY.
2Marmara University, Institute of Educational Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Science Education, TURKEY.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2019.83.1


Purpose: In 2017 and 2018, engineering applications and design process were given weight to with the updates carried out in the Physical Sciences Lesson Curriculum in Turkey. For the STEM education which is at the center of this update to reach its target, it is highly important that students accurately learn what engineers do, what their work field is, the characteristics they should carry and understand the nature of engineering. The present study aims to identify the perception of engineers of 5th, 6th and 7th grade middle school students through drawings.

Research Methods: The study group of this research which is a descriptive survey model consisted of 119 students from a city located in the East Anatolian region of Turkey who were 5th, 6th and 7th grade students. The “Draw an Engineer” form was used as the data collection tool and the drawings were evaluated with a checklist.

Findings: As a result of this study, it was determined that a majority of the students adopted the stereotyped idea that engineers are male. The findings showed that as the age increased, the rate of male engineers in the drawings increased as well and engineers creating designs were given more place to. In this study, it was concluded that in general the students mixed up what engineers do with the work construction workers or repairmen do and that they perceived engineers as individuals who work alone.

Implications for Research and Practice: To be able to develop students’ perception of engineers in a positive manner, it is considered important for students’ to experience STEM education applications. In this context, it is suggested to give place to ‘Science, Engineering and Entrepreneurship Applications’ in all grade levels both in school and outside school learning environments.

Key words: Engineering gender stereotypes, middle school students, STEM education, drawings.