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Design Competitions As Tools For Change In Secondary (9 12) Technology Education: A Regional Case Study

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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

Best Zone Papers

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Page Numbers

9.380.1 - 9.380.8

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Joseph Betz

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

Session 1601

Design Competitions as Tools for Change in Secondary (9-12) Technology Education: A Regional Case Study

Joseph A. Betz State University of New York at Farmingdale

Abstract Technology Education faculty at the secondary level share a kinship with college level Engineering, Engineering Technology and Architecture faculty in the kinds of open-ended design and team problem-solving projects given to their students. This kinship also provides a mutually beneficial relationship in terms of recruitment and access. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two in the epistemological tools they use to solve problems. At the secondary level the design and analysis tools are primarily practical and craft oriented using trial and error, whereas, at the collegiate level these tools are theoretical and based on a rigorous scientific paradigm.

The Creative Crane Competition was first held as part of an ASEE Regional Conference in Spring 2000. One of the goals of the competition was to foster a paradigm shift in the epistemological tools that secondary technology educators use in the design and problem solving process. This paper will present the theory, with supporting data, for using this design competition as an instrument for pedagogical change at the secondary level over a three-year period. It will also examine some of the issues and impediments confronting Technology Education in this process of change.

Introduction The shift from Industrial Arts to Technology Education in the public secondary education system seems to be superficial. The name change more accurately reflects a shift from the industrial tools used in a wood or metal shop to that of a more current and identifiable technology. The issue here is real change that must also include the type of knowledge used and the role it plays in the learning process. This paper will discuss the use of Design Competitions, developed in academia, as a tool for change in secondary (9-12) Technology Education as a regional case study. The paper will outline the types of knowledge and the role it plays in today’s society, the current pedagogical approach in Technology Education, and evidence of its reduced status and factors limiting change. The paper will also explain the Creative Crane Competition as a pedagogical model and will provide supporting data and analysis of its success.

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

Betz, J. (2004, June), Design Competitions As Tools For Change In Secondary (9 12) Technology Education: A Regional Case Study Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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