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Curricular Value And Instructional Needs For Infusing Engineering Design Into K 12 Technology Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Philosophical Foundations, Frameworks, and Testing in K-12 Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.383.1 - 10.383.11



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Paper Authors

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Robert Wicklein

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David Gattie

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

Curricular Value and Instructional Needs for Infusing Engineering Design into K-12 Technology Education 1 David K. Gattie, 2Robert C. Wicklein 1,2 University of Georgia, Faculty of Engineering/1Driftmier Engineering Center, Athens, GA. 30602-4435 USA/2College of Education, Dept. of Workforce Education, 223 River’s Crossing Bldg., Athens, GA 30606

Abstract: An overarching objective of Technology Education in the U.S. is to improve technological literacy among K-12 students.1,2,3,4,5. Traditionally, this has been addressed by focusing on end product technology and the use and importance of various technologies in society. Current efforts at the University of Georgia propose adjusting the focus of Technology Education from the end product alone to a defined emphasis on the engineering design process by which technology is developed. The hypothesis is twofold: An engineering design focus for Technology Education in K-12 will, 1) increase interest and improve competence in mathematics and science among K-12 students by providing an arena for synthesizing mathematics and science principles; and 2) improve technological literacy based on the methodology by which technology is created. This will inherently involve a fundamental paradigm shift, thereby raising mathematics and science requirements for technology teachers and technology teacher educators. Moreover, general textbook and instructional material needs for teaching technology education with an engineering design focus will significantly change. This paper presents the University of Georgia’s efforts to affect this paradigm shift. Results from a national survey of technology educators are presented, addressing three areas: 1) the current practices of technology teachers in relation to utilizing engineering design practices within their classroom; 2) the value of an engineering design focus for technology education; and 3) instructional needs related to engineering design. Results indicate that over 90% of in-service technology education teachers identify engineering design as the appropriate focus for technology education, and an equal number recognize that mathematics and science skills that exceed current requirements are needed. Moreover, two-thirds identify current technology education teaching materials as inadequate for re-focusing efforts on engineering design.


Among the National Science Board’s key recommendations in their report on the science and engineering workforce is an emphasis on in-service training and support for pre-college teachers of mathematics, science, and technology as an integral part of the scientific and engineering professions.6 This recommendation emphasizes a critical need to develop experiences for K-12 students in engineering. Furthermore, it accentuates the necessity for long-term opportunities to prepare in-service teachers in the synthesis of mathematics, science and engineering. This paper proposes the field of technology education as fertile ground for developing an institutional, systemic approach to the needed synthesis of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K-12 education.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Wicklein, R., & Gattie, D. (2005, June), Curricular Value And Instructional Needs For Infusing Engineering Design Into K 12 Technology Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14783

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