Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Kate has provided me with an opportunity to explain Technology Education. About 25 years ago, the field of Industrial Arts changed its names to Technology Education to reflect the changes in the profession. Traditional Industrial Arts was focused on shop classes and a narrower curriculum of woods, metals, transportation, and communication. Technology Education focuses on the man-made world and would include courses in production and industry as opposed to shop classes, transportation systems as opposed to small engine classes, and computer-assisted design as opposed to drafting classes. There is a greater focus on the development of technological literacy as part of general education in courses such as Technology and Society, Architecture, Communication Design, Product Design or nature of technology course. These are all courses I have taught. There is also a growing interest in our field to embrace pre-engineering. There are two areas of thought concerning pre-engineering, one is pre-engineering is taught to prepare students to enter engineering education programs after they graduate from high school. The other sees the use of design as a powerful teaching method that incorporates mathematics and science concepts as well as technological literacy and pre-engineering. This is a gross oversimplification of a very complex discussion within our field. This weekend in Baltimore I am working on developing end-of-course assessments for a curriculum called Engineering by Design that will incorporate national standards from the science, mathematics, and technology education fields. In addition to developing a bank of multiple-choice questions, we will be developing rubrics to be used in assessing hands-on, design challenge activities. If any of this is of interest, and you would like to learn more please don't be afraid to ask me to explain further. As I'm sure Kate would tell you, I am very happy to discuss what I do.