A descriptive study of the effect of K-12 design education on changes in self-esteem

DS 87-9 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 9: Design Education, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Broussard, Kaylin; Murphy, Lauren; Fu, Katherine Kai-Se
Series: ICED
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America
Section: Design Education
Page(s): 069-078
ISBN: 978-1-904670-97-1
ISSN: 2220-4342


This research explores the hypothesis that introducing K-12 students to design education has the potential to introduce students to skills that are integral and vital to being a strong designer, with particular attention to self-esteem. A new K-12 design curriculum has been developed to explore this hypothesis. This paper presents an assessment of the impact of the design education curriculum on K-12 students’ self-esteem, both presented and self-reported. Self-reported and presented student self-esteem measurements indicate no correlation with one another. Over the course of the curriculum, self-reported self-esteem increased slightly overall. Indicators for high presented self-esteem showed overall increases in individuals. The presented low self-esteem measurements stayed nearly constant over the course of the study. These preliminary results suggest formalized methods for assessing student outcomes in the context of design education research. Providing evidence that shows a correlation between design education and self-esteem builds a case for design education as a valid teaching tool, and opens the discussion for design as mechanism to address new educational demands.

Keywords: Design education, Design learning, Research methodologies and methods, K-12 design education, Self-esteem assessment


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