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Situational interest in engineering design activities

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The aim of the present mixed-method study was to investigate task-based situational interest of sixth grade students (n=46), between 12 and 14 years old, during an eight-week engineering design programme in a Science & Technology-class. Students’ interests were investigated by means of a descriptive interpretative analysis of qualitative data from classroom observations and informal interviews. The analysis was complemented by a self-report survey to validate findings and determine prevalence. The analysis revealed four main sources of interest: designing inventions, trial-and-error experimentation, achieved functionality of invention, and collaboration. These sources differ in terms of stimuli factors, such as novelty, autonomy (choice), social involvement,
self-generation of interest, and task goal orientation. The study shows that design tasks stimulated interest, but only to the extent that students were able to self-regulate their learning strategies.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Science Education
Sider (fra-til)2057–2078
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 2013


  • Engineering design, Interesse, Naturfag/science education, Ungdomsuddannelse, Videregående uddannelse, Fagdidaktik, Didaktik

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