June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Technological Literacy Constituent Committee
11.243.1 - 11.243.10
Assessing Technological Literacy in the United States
The challenges to developing tools and techniques for assessment of technological literacy are presented in a panel format, with each panelist above providing a 4 minute summary of his written contribution shown below, followed by an audience questions and discussion. Three distinct sections of this overview provide: a summary of a recently issued NAE report on assessing the technological literacy of K-12 students, K-12 teachers, and the general US population, a case study of assessment of a well established technological literacy course at Hope College, and summary of 12 technological literacy course formats, student learning styles, and assessment and evaluation tools, taken from a 2005 NSF-sponsored faculty workshop on teaching technological literacy. Taken collectively, these pieces identify the current situation for, and future challenges to, achievement of widespread assessment for technological literacy undergraduate instruction.
I. Assessment of Technological Literacy: A National Academies Perspective. (Greg Pearson National Academy of Engineering)
The idea that all Americans, and U.S. school children in particular, should know something about the nature, history, and role of technology1 is not new. Over the last several decades, curriculum developers, university scholars, engineering and scientific professional associations, museums, government agencies, foundations, industry groups, and others have invested considerable time and money in a range of efforts intended to encourage greater “technological literacy.” The majority of these initiatives have taken place within an educational system that for the most part does not recognize technology as an area of academic content in its own right.
In the last five years, several separate but related initiatives have seemed to elevate the prospects that both the policy-making and education communities in the United States will begin to view the study of technology as an important issue. The National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, for example, funded the development of a set of content standards for the study of technology (ITEA, 2000). During this same period, one of the largest professional engineering societies in the world, IEEE, convened engineering and education school deans with the goal of beginning a dialogue between the two camps about technological literacy and its implications for how teachers are educated. In 2002, the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council published Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More About Technology,2 a report that argues for greater technological literacy for all citizens1. The report proposed a model of technological literacy that has three dimensions: knowledge, capability, and ways of thinking and acting.
Unfortunately, as Technically Speaking points out, none of these efforts—past or present—has been informed in any meaningful way by knowledge of what Americans actually know about technology. Although the best guess of experts with an interest in the issue is that the level is lower than we would wish, the truth is that no one knows.
Krupczak, J., & Pearson, G., & Ollis, D. (2006, June), Assessing Technological Literacy In The United States Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/396
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