June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
14.207.1 - 14.207.16
An Investigation of Middle School Student Interest, Perception, and Attitude Toward Technology and Engineering
Recently, technology education educators have been asked to include engineering concepts in K- 12 curriculum.1 While to some this may initially appear to drift from the purposes of technology education, it is actually a refinement of technology education to include a broader skill set and focus. This also reflects the view that technology education keep up with the world’s business and economic engineering and technology focus.
In light of these suggestive technology education curriculum and objectives modifications, there is a need to evaluate the influence of the changes. The Technology Attitude Scale (TAS) and Pupils Attitudes Toward Technology (PATT) have been used to ascertain students’ attitude toward and understanding of technology, however, the tools do not include engineering issues.2 Thus a comprehensive instrument was needed to measure student interest, perception, attitude, and understanding of both engineering and technology. In addition, we wanted a better understanding of how technology classes, the gender of teacher, and gender of student effect students’ realization of the opportunities engineering and technology provide to make contributions to the world around them. To accomplish these objectives, a widely applicable survey tool titled, the Technology and Engineering Attitude Scale (TEAS), has been developed. The TAS and PATT were used to inform the development of the TEAS instrument.
Development of Instrument
The instrument was developed in three stages: selection of measurement criteria, construction of instrument statements, and formatting the instrument statements. Each stage included a detailed review of literature.
The TAS and PATT measurement criteria were investigated and those found to be of interest were selected and combined with additional criteria that we felt were needed for our particular investigation.2,3 Eight measurement criteria were selected that would allow us to define the scope of interest in areas which students’ attitude towards and understanding of technology and engineering would be grounded and also to identify the affects of gender of teacher and student on students’ attitude and understanding. These eight criteria were: 1. Interest in learning about technology and engineering 2. Interest in a career in a technology or engineering field 3. Importance and contribution of technology and engineering to society 4. Difficulty of understanding technology and engineering 5. Relationship of technology and engineering to mathematics and science 6. Gender and technology and engineering 7. Connection of technology and engineering to problem solving 8. Problem solving confidence and capability
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