ERIC Number: ED290915
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Dec-7
Reference Count: N/A
International Perspectives on Technological Literacy.
Dyrenfurth, Michael J.
A study examined international perspectives on the concept of technological literacy and on different attitudes toward the need for technological literacy education in various countries throughout the world. The study was based on interviews with persons in attendance at one or more of five major international conferences and meetings held during 1986 and 1987 (in Vancouver, Canada; The Netherlands; London, England; Dallas, Texas; and Tulsa, Oklahoma). Technological literacy, as a concept, was found to be in a state of flux. Although the concept showed signs of emerging from its evolutionary stage, it seems to have remained more a notion than a precise construct. Increasing numbers of countries are becoming sensitive to the concept, and there is considerable agreement that technological literacy necessarily involves an ability to do. The term "technological literacy" is not generally used overseas, and little evidence was found to suggest that science literacy is an important topic. More countries seemed concerned with technology education for all students than with technological literacy. The U.S. approach to technology education appears to be considerably more developed than that of most other countries. This does not mean, however, that there are no valuable lessons to be learned from overseas. Technology education overseas focuses on design and problem-solving processes, whereas that in the United States focuses more on mastery of technical knowledge or skills. Overall, there seems to be a "quick-fix" mentality in thinking a few years of courses could meet the societal need for technological literacy. (An appendix includes a model and rationale for technological literacy.) (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Vocational Association (Las Vegas, NV, December 6-10, 1987). Originally prepared for the International Symposium on Technological Literacy (Columbus, OH, May 13-16, 1987).