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A New Engineering Degree Program For Secondary School Teachers

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Promoting ET thru K-12 Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.78.1 - 9.78.8



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Johnson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2550

A New Engineering Degree Program for Secondary School Teachers

Thomas G. Johnson

Computer Engineering and Computer Science Department California State University, Long Beach


In April 2000, the International Technology Education Association and its Technology for All Americans Project published Standards for Technological Literacy1. These standards have become a major focus in the revision of primary and secondary school curricula across the nation. A renewed emphasis is being placed on teachers to be competent in those areas addressed by the authors. After examining the high school curriculum currently in place, there has been a realization that a secondary school education as now constituted provides very little exposure to the skills and general problem solving techniques that is emphasized in the technology standards. Interestingly, the identified skills are much like the ones that an engineer develops in completing an engineering degree. The problem we face in California is that the State mandates the primary and secondary school curricula2, and getting any changes made to the comprehensive and well- established program is a Herculean task, one that is exceedingly difficult and time consuming. As an alternative approach, we have developed an engineering degree option, viz. BS in Engineering Technology, Option in Technology and Engineering Education, which has as its purpose the introduction of technology in a comprehensive and understandable manner in the California school curriculum that is already in place. Specifically, we have designed a new single-subject degree option that prepares future middle school and high school teachers to integrate the technology standards into the mathematics and science courses of the California secondary school curriculum. The goal is two-fold: first developing competent and technology literate teachers, and second, by their efforts in the classroom, increasing interest in engineering and encouraging more students to enter the engineering profession. Currently this program is in the process of being evaluated for approval by the State of California. In this paper a detailed description of the program is presented, and some aspects of its development are discussed.


The lack of technological literate teachers, as differentiated from computer literate or multi- media literate teachers, in the public school system today is partially responsible for the low interest levels and indistinct knowledge about engineering and information technology career opportunities open to many a bright and eager student. Since public school teachers play a significant role in shaping the interests, preparation, and subsequent career choice of high school graduates, it is important to maintain a solid core of well-educated and able teachers that can motivate and prepare sufficient numbers of students to become the high-tech personnel needed to

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Johnson, T. (2004, June), A New Engineering Degree Program For Secondary School Teachers Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13822

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