ERIC Number: EJ1174484
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Reflections on STEM, Standards, and Disciplinary Focus
Reed, Philip A.
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v77 n7 p16-20 Apr 2018
Technology Education as a discipline is at a historical point of two extremes. On one hand it is clear that what we do in technology education is highly valued; after all, imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. The proliferation of "Makermania," technical competitions, engineering design in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013), and other initiatives is clear affirmation that the broader educational community feels that all students need more exposure to technology. Upon closer inspection, however, it is apparent that most of these activities are a mile wide and an inch deep: Great for public relations but with very little to offer students in the way of a deep, sustained study of technology. For example, participation in a robotics competition can provide students with a good introduction to mechatronics but likely does not cover as much content as a quarterly, semester, or year-long technology education course. Additionally, students attending a school maker space or conducting an engineering design project in science class likely do not receive the depth of iterative design or the sociocultural aspects they would encounter in a quarterly, semester, or year-long technology education course. The second extreme is the shrinking Technology Education discipline. We continue to see a decline of teachers, courses, and teacher education programs in the United States. How do these two extremes coexist? Perhaps it is due to the focus on standardized testing, shrinking school funding, or maybe because there have been few substantial reforms to the core school curriculum in the United States since it was established in 1893.
Descriptors: STEM Education, Reflection, Academic Standards, Technology Education, Definitions, Science Activities, Alignment (Education), Educational Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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