It’s well known that engineers need strong critical-thinking skills and technical skills specific to their disciplines. Less well known is that leaders in the field and organizations such as the National Academy of Engineering have identified a new skill that engineers need to be successful: empathy. Traditional engineering education has not sought to foster this skill.
EDC is studying a project led by the Boston Children’s Museum titled Creating Integrated Engineering and Empathy Curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Classrooms, which seeks to chart a new course for engineering education. The goal of the project is to pave the way for our country’s youngest learners—the engineers and engaged citizenry of tomorrow—to practice and deepen the empathic capacities critical for the global workforce of the future.
EDC and the Boston Children’s Museum are working closely with educators, curriculum specialists, and district staff from Boston Public Schools to carry out the following activities:
- Design and test an integrated engineering and empathy intervention model that meets the needs, priorities, and contexts of each stakeholder group
- Produce a curriculum module, professional development for teachers, and design principles to guide the development of integrated engineering and empathy activities
- Produce preliminary evidence about the potential of the intervention to impact teachers and children
The project will:
- Advance knowledge of how to provide high-quality, integrated engineering and empathy instruction in pre-K and K—including essential supports for educators and students
- Establish the potential for the project’s resources to impact pre-K and K educator understandings and perceptions of their ability to introduce engineering concepts
Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Public Schools