Run! Spot. Run!: vocabulary development and the evolution of STEM disciplinary language for secondary teachers Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016, FIZ Karlsruhe. The purpose of the study was to explore the development of discourses that emerge as a result of inservice teachers being engaged in a richly situated technological task that incorporated geometric spatial sense development and the engineering design processes. Typically, learning has been approached as a discrete set of tasks to be mastered without regard for how expressed language within context develops. Secondary teachers (N = 26) who attended a week-long residential professional development program at a land grant university learned to use Google Sketch-Up to design 3-dimensional (3-D) objects that were created using 3-D printers. Data were collected during an aural spatial visualization test that required language be used to describe 3-D objects to others who created 2-D drawings. Digital audio recordings of these interactions were analyzed. Results indicated language emerged through a variety of discourses each characterized by distinct languages: analogous, technical, and clarifying. The discourses were mediated by cognitive negotiation that allowed meaning to ascribe with sense carrying capacity that was occasionally hindered by terminological ambiguity. Implications of this study are that designing and creating 3-D objects using 3-D printers in classrooms may support opportunities for engaging in and practicing engineering design processes while developing disciplinary language, and spatial ability.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Barroso, L. R., Bicer, A., Capraro, M. M., Capraro, R. M., Foran, A. L., Grant, M. R., ... Rice, D.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Barroso, Luciana R||Bicer, Ali||Capraro, Mary M||Capraro, Robert M||Foran, Alexandra L||Grant, Melva R||Lincoln, Yvonna S||Nite, Sandra B||Oner, Ayse Tugba||Rice, Devyn

publication date

  • May 2017

published in

  • ZDM  Journal