6E Learning byDeSIGN

For purposes of developing an instructional model that blends design and inquiry, the BSCS 5E Instructional Model (Bybee, 1997), the conceptual base (concepts and contexts) as described in the Delphi study by Rousouw, Hacker, and de Vries (Rousouw, 2005) and the Informed Design Teaching and Learning Matrix (Crismond, 2012) was used. Additionally, mathematical modeling concepts (Lesh, 2010) were incorporated.


The purpose of the ENGAGE phase is to pique student interest and get them personally involved in the lesson, while pre-assessing prior understanding.


The purpose of the EXPLORE phase is to provide students with the opportunity to construct their own understanding of the topic.


The purpose of the EXPLAIN phase is to provide students with an opportunity to explain and refine what they have learned so far and determine what it means.

eNGINEER Extend/Elaborate

The purpose of the eNGINEER phase is to provide students with an opportunity to develop greater depth of understanding about the problem topic by applying concepts, practices and attitudes.


The purpose of the ENRICH phase is to provide students with an opportunity to explore in more depth what they have learned and to transfer concepts to more complex problems. 


The purpose of the EVALUATION phase is for both students and teachers to determine how much learning and understanding has taken place.

Concepts, Contexts, and Models in Technology and Engineering Classrooms

There exists in the profession much discussion about “what” should be taught in classrooms. Some would argue that as long as students are using their hands, it does not matter. Many would point to the Standards for Technological Literacy and say this is the content for technology and engineering (technological literacy). The evolution from skills-based to an emphasis on technological literacy creates many opportunities when channeled to content.

When looking at the conceptual base for technology and engineering, the STEM±CTL is using the following Contexts and Concepts (Rousouw, 2005) as the basis for developing classroom materials and professional development.

Modeling plays a significant role in the conceptual base. Often we think of models as real objects that look or act like the real artifact. A model is a system that is used to describe (or interpret) another system of interest in a purposeful way. Understanding models usually involves a variety of diagrams, concrete models, experience-based metaphors, and other expressive media. (Lesh, 2010 p7)