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ERIC Number: EJ830484
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1864
Barriers to the Implementation of Project Lead the Way as Perceived by Indiana High School Principals
Shields, C. J.
Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, v44 n3 p43-70 Fall 2007
Technology education (TE) has come to encompass many facets of curriculum, ranging from industrial arts (IA) to integrating problem-solving and engineering concepts into the curriculum. For technology educators who have chosen the pre-engineering problem-solving route there is a pre-engineering curriculum called Project Lead The Way (PLTW), that is described by its creators as, "A four year sequence of courses which, when combined with college preparatory mathematics and science courses in high school, introduces students to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering and engineering technology prior to entering college." Although pre-engineering education, in the form of PLTW, is recognized as a valid part of Indiana's TE curriculum principals of non-PLTW schools in Indiana do not necessarily understand PLTW or how it is implemented. To understand the possible current confusion that Indiana principals face when making decisions related to TE, the author discusses how TE has historically been viewed by Indiana principals. The author conducted research that aims to determine what high school principals in Indiana felt were the barriers to the implementation of PLTW curriculum. Using an instrument based on two previous instruments, Mason (1970) and Rogers (2005), principals were asked to rate possible barriers in one of five categories, and then during statistical analysis, the categories were assigned a numeric value in order to calculate a mean. Using 3.0 as baseline for judging agreement and disagreement the study found that, as a group, non-PLTW principals in Indiana believed that PLTW was a valid part of the TE curriculum. Furthermore, non-PLTW principals believed that PLTW addressed the skills that students should learn in TE. Likewise, almost all demographic groups disagreed that students would not have time for PLTW because of core classes and adding PLTW would mean removing all other TE classes. Regardless of the fact that non-PLTW Indiana principals agreed that PLTW was a useful and valid part of the TE curriculum, they believed the greatest barrier to implementing PLTW was cost, both of the cost of PLTW equipment and of the PLTW summer training. Replication of the study under four additional research conditions is recommended: (1) When county classification, as defined by the United State Census Bureau, has changed; (2) In another state where PLTW is a recognized portion of the TE curriculum; (3) Using principal gender as a determining factor in sample selection; and (4) Using principal age as a determining factor in the sample selection. (Contains 9 tables.)
National Association of Industrial and Technical Teacher Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana