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Investigation Of The Successful Effort To Change Educational Curriculum Frameworks In Massachusetts To Include Engineering And Technology

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Technological Literacy and K-12 Engineering

Tagged Division

Technological Literacy Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.818.1 - 14.818.9



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Paper Authors


Nataliia Perova Tufts University

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Nataliia got her M.S. in Mathematics, Science, Technology and Engineering education from Tufts University in 2008 and M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2005 from Tufts University and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Suffolk University.
Nataliia is currently a research assistant at Harvard Graduate School of Education where she is involved in the research project on mathematics education. She is also doing research on using engineering approaches to teach science to college students.

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Chris Rogers Tufts University

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Chris got his PhD, M.S. and B.S. at Stanford University. He is a Professor of Mechanical
Engineering at Tufts University and Director of the Center for Engineering Outreach. His
research interests include: particle-laden flows, telerobotics and controls, slurry flows in
chemical-mechanical planarization, the engineering of musical instruments, measuring flame
shapes of couch fires, and in elementary school engineering education. He has a strong
commitment to teaching and was awarded the Carnegie Professor of the Year in Massachusetts in
1998. He has worked with LEGO to develop ROBOLAB, a robotic approach to learning science
and math.

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David Henry Feldman Tufts University

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David Henry Feldman got his Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford University in Child Development and Psychology; he also holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a BA from the University of Rochester. He is a Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at tufts. His scholarly interests include: cognitive-developmental theory, the development of expertise, creativity, giftedness, prodigies, and religious conversion. He is a former Fulbright Scholar and was named Distinguished Scholar of the Year by the National Association of Gifted Children in 1988. He has made frequent media appearances on such shows as TODAY, NOVA, and Unsolved Mysteries.

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

An Event So Rare: The Successful Effort to Change Educational Curriculum Frameworks in Massachusetts to Include Engineering and Technology


In the increasingly technology-driven 21st century, technological literacy became one of the important goals in our education. Understanding the fundamental principles of technology and an ability to think critically about technological development are essential qualities needed to make thoughtful decisions. In our research work we investigated the efforts in public schools to educate students about technology. In particular, we analyzed the process of development of the Technology and Engineering Curriculum Framework and its inclusion in Massachusetts’s curriculum standards.


In a world where technology plays a very important role, technological literacy becomes one of the important goals in our education. In 2002, the Technological Literacy Committee of the National Academy of Engineering issued a report stating that “technological literacy is essential for people living in a modern nation like United States” and defined technological literacy as “an understanding of the nature and history of technology, a basic hands-on capability related to technology, and the ability to think critically about technological developments”.1 One of the recommendations followed from the Committee’s report was to strengthen the presence of technology in formal and informal education through integration of technology content into K-12 standards, curricula, and instructional materials.

The targets of this research are the ongoing efforts in public schools to educate students about technology. In particular, we are interested in the process of development of the Technology and Engineering Curriculum Framework and its inclusion in Massachusetts state standards and later using the data collected from this research to empirically test some of the claims of Nonuniversal Theory.11 Nonuniversal theory provides a powerful framework for analysis of the curriculum change based on the development of domains of knowledge and expertise on a Universal to Unique continuum which includes pancultural, cultural, disciplined, and idiosyncratic sequence of organized domains. Having engineering standards in the state frameworks makes this discipline a part of the cultural domain, that “expects every child in the cultural group to be able to achieve a certain level of mastery” rather than leaving this knowledge only for people interested in pursuing the field of engineering. For our research purposes we designed a mixed method study. We developed research instruments to conduct a quantitative survey as well as qualitative exploration based on semi- structured interviews. The interview participants represented the Department of Education, the university community, the state legislature, and educational advocacy groups. To better explore our research question we collected data from legal documents and from various research- based publications.

Perova, N., & Rogers, C., & Feldman, D. H. (2009, June), Investigation Of The Successful Effort To Change Educational Curriculum Frameworks In Massachusetts To Include Engineering And Technology Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5668

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