Research in Engineering and Technology Education
National Center for Engineering and Technology Education
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education across the K-16 spectrum. While much of this interest has concentrated on science and mathematics, technology and engineering are emerging as authentic educational problem solving contexts, as well as disciplines in their own right at the K-12 level. Over the past 20 years, the technology education field has concentrated on defining and implementing a set of content standards, the Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA, 2000) (STL), with mixed results. On a national scale, the field continues to evolve from its historical industrial arts base toward more contemporary approaches to curriculum and pedagogy. In spite of the STL, which were designed to define the content base for technology education, practice continues to be driven by projects and activities with little focus on specific student learning outcomes. In addition, over the past decade, the field has shifted toward an interest in an alignment with engineering.
Corresponding with technology education‟s shift in emphasis has been the engineering profession‟s emerging interest in K-12 education. A significant part of this emphasis can be attributed to a concern among engineering educators that insufficient numbers of students, including women and minorities, are being attracted into and prepared for post-secondary engineering education. More positively, there is a growing awareness that a well crafted engineering presence within the K-12 curriculum provides a rich and authentic contextual base for mathematics and science concepts. Engineering-oriented programs, particularly at the secondary level, range from those designed to promote general engineering/technological literacy (designed for all students) to those designed to prepare students for post-secondary engineering education.
Custer, R. L., Daugherty, J., & Meyer, J. (2009). Formulating the conceptual base for secondary level engineering education: A review and synthesis.