June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Technological Literacy Constituent Committee
14.818.1 - 14.818.9
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. https://peer.asee.org/5668
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