Journal of Technology Education
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
In 2004, the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE) secured funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to infuse engineering design into the schools through technology education. In order to reach this goal the researchers, in cooperation with NCETE, conducted a two phase study to identify outcomes for high-school students studying engineering. The first study (referred to as a Phase I) focused on students who intended to enter an engineering program after high school, answering the question:
What are the engineering student outcomes that prospective engineering students in grades 9 through 12 should know and be able to do and prior to entering into a post-secondary engineering program?
This initial study by Childress & Rhodes (2008) started with preexisting items selected from ten sources, including focus groups and national standards projects. At the end of the Delphi Round 3, very few of these items had been dropped since the consensus on all of them was high. Therefore, the researchers decided to have selected engineers categorize the outcome items into groups of conceptual likeness and to assign categorical names to the groupings. These groups then formed the basis of the instruments for the remaining Delphi rounds.
This resultant baseline of achievement outcomes for prospective engineering students was then used to design a modified Delphi instrument for the second study (Phase II) reported herein. This study focused on students who were enrolled in technology education for general education purposes and sought input from technology education teachers, teacher educators, and supervisors regarding the following question:
What are those engineering outcomes that should be taught in a high school technology education program in which the focus is general technology education program in which the focus is a general technological literacy and not pre-engineering?
Rhodes, C., & Childress, V. Engineering student outcomes for infusion into technological literacy programs: Grades 9-12. Journal of Technology Education, 21(2), 69-83.