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Technological Literacy For K 6 Teachers: How Things Are Designed And Work

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Pre-College and ECE Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1114.1 - 7.1114.8

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Paper Authors

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Susan Meyers

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Donald Kirk

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Technological Literacy for K-6 Teachers: How Things Are Designed and Work

Donald Kirk2, Kurt McMullin 2, Susan Meyers1, Nikos Mourtos2, Carolyn Nelson1, Patty Viajar1


The 21st Century teacher must be prepared to provide students with the technological literacy they will need to assume the responsibilities of citizenship in a technologically complex, democratic society. The International Technology Education Association (ITEA) has published comprehensive “Standards for Technological Literacy” [1] in grades K-12. These standards set benchmarks for students in terms of the level of technological literacy (the ability to use, manage, assess and understand technology) expected at each stage in the student’s K-6 experience (ITEA, 2000, p.9). If teachers are to help students meet these benchmarks, they must have a comprehensive understanding of the broad spectrum of technology from how things work and why to the socio-economic, environmental implications and ethical questions related to the use of technology. In most universities in the United States the preparation of teachers is perceived as the domain of colleges of education. However, the expertise in “technological literacy” is multi disciplinary thereby offering opportunities for collaboration with potential for enriching undergraduate and professional preparation of future teachers. A recognition of the critical role of teachers and the cross disciplinary nature of “technological literacy” has prompted a College of Education - College of Engineering collaboration at San José State University.

A team of six faculty members from the Colleges of Education and Engineering, including the deans of these colleges, is designing a course in technological literacy for pre-service K-6 teachers. The course, which features hands-on laboratory experiences, emphasizes how common, technologically-based systems, processes and products work and how they are designed.

The major learning goals of this innovative course are for students in the course, who are pre-service teaching majors, to demonstrate:

1. Knowledge of the K-12 standards related to technology

2. Understanding of the processes involved in the development and implementation of various technologies

2 College of Engineering, College of Engineering, San Jose State University 1 College of Education, San Jose State University

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and 1 Exposition, Copyright 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Meyers, S., & Kirk, D. (2002, June), Technological Literacy For K 6 Teachers: How Things Are Designed And Work Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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