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Abstract and Link to Report

National Center for Engineering and Technology Education

Review of NCETE's Research Initiative


Jenifer V. Helms, Michelle Phillips, Mark St. John,
Inverness Research Inc.


Inverness Research has evaluated three NSF-funded Centers for
Learning and Teaching (CLTs). Through this work, we have identified
and vetted five dimensions for examining the work that Centers do.
These dimensions are: Leadership; Knowledge Generation and Flow;
Relationships and Connections; Programs, Structures, and Policies; and
"Centerness." As the external evaluator for the National Center for
Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE), Inverness has
focused its efforts in year 6 on documenting the progress the Center has
made according to these drivers. It is the second dimension—
Knowledge Generation and Flow—that concerns itself with research.
There are multiple levels of knowledge a national Center for Learning
and Teaching (CLT) is positioned to gather, generate, use, and
disseminate, including knowledge of the policy, practice, improvement,
and curriculum landscape associated with the Center's domain. This
report presents and reviews the key features of the research efforts of
the NCETE, an NSF-funded CLT, which intended to build capacity in
the areas of leadership and research for its particular domain within
STEM education: infusing engineering design concepts into technology

It is important to note that CLTs were not initially conceived as
primarily research centers; instead, the majority of funding within
Centers was originally intended for graduate training and practitioner
programs. Over time, NSF increasingly emphasized research as an
important outcome for CLTs, but did not earmark funding for research.
In reality, most Centers focused on creating what we at Inverness
Research have come to describe as a "research rich milieu" for the
purposes of shepherding the improvement of the domain that the
Center represented.

In the following pages, we highlight the important features of the
NCETE research initiative. We provide an overview of the Center's
various research initiatives, as well as a wide range of perspectives on
the efficacy of those initiatives. The primary audience for this document
is potential funders of ongoing and future research efforts initiated by
NCETE, and secondarily, other researchers or program leaders
interested in learning more about this particular strand of Center work.

Intended Audience

Science and Technology Educators and Administrators, Reform Leaders and Funders, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research, Inc.

Date published

August 2010

Distribution Policy

Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.

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