Purpose: The purpose of the current study is to assess Omani teachers’ performance on tasks related to the stages of engineering design. To achieve this, data from an engineering design test was used, and demographic variables that are correlated with this performance were identified. Design/methodology/approach: This descriptive study employed a cross-sectional design and the collection of quantitative data. A sample of preservice science teachers from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) (n = 70) participated in this study. Findings: Findings showed low and moderate levels of proficiency related to the stages of engineering design. Differences between males and females in terms of performance on engineering design tasks were found, with females scoring higher overall on the assessment. Biology preservice teachers scored higher than teachers from the other two majors (physics and chemistry) in two subscales. There were also differences between teachers studying in the Bachelor of Science (BSc) program and the teacher qualification diploma (TQD) program. Originality/value: This study provides an overview, in an Arab setting, of preservice science teachers’ proficiency with engineering design process (EDP) tasks. It is hoped that the results may lead to improved instruction in science teacher training programs in similar contexts. Additionally, this research demonstrates how EDP competency relates to preservice teacher gender, major and preparation program. Findings from this study will contribute to the growing body of research investigating the strengths and shortcomings of teacher education programs in relation to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
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