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The development and utilization of a survey instrument to determine the acceptance of national standards for technological literacy

by Donan, Robert Malcolm

Abstract (Summary)
Over the past six years, practitioners in the field of technology education within the State of Tennessee have been mandated with nearly constant curricular change with the latest being the implementation of a revised set of content standards for technology education, a major change in programs within the curriculum framework, and most recently a new name for the state-wide program. These programmatic changes, other than the name change, although they addressed the majority of the national content standards for technological literacy, were not correlated with either the programs or grade level content explicit in the national standards developed and published by the International Technology Education Association (the international governing board of technology education teachers). At the time of this study, no studies had been conducted in the field of technology education to analyze the perceptions of technology education practitioners in regards to their willingness to endorse a set of national standards for technological literacy. Nor had there be any studies conducted to determine if technology education teachers perceived: (a) the published national standards to be representative of their programs; (b) a need or desire for content specific training in order to implement any of the national standards; or (c) their students as possessing the ability to acquire the content explicit in the national standards. The primary purpose of the study was to determine the level of endorsement of national content standards by technology education teachers in Tennessee. Secondarily it was to determine the level of perceived need for in-service training to facilitate adoption of the standards and integrating them into the existing curriculum. v This study used a descriptive design in which self-reported perceptional and demographic data were obtained from technology education teachers in Tennessee. Due to relatively small size of the population and historically low response rate from practitioners in the field, a census study was conducted. A mailed questionnaire was used for expediency and reduced cost in conducting the census survey. The questionnaire used in this research was an original survey instrument developed by the researcher after a review of the literature failed to reveal any instrument that could be used to collect the requisite perceptional data. In addition to investigating the level of acceptance of national standards and perceived need for training, the study also investigated the perceptions of technology teachers as to (a) the fit of the content standards for technology education contained in Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (International Technology Education Association, 2000) within the existing curriculum, and (b) student ability to acquire the content explicit in the standards. Frequencies, percentages, crosstabulations and correlational analyses were performed on the data. Results of the study showed that in contrast to the historic lack of general acceptance of technology education by industrial arts teachers, and low percentage of membership in either the state or international governing organizations (both cited in the literature as reasons why teachers don’t endorse change), the majority of technology education teachers in Tennessee endorsed all of the national content standards presented in Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology developed by the Technology for All Americans Project of the International Technology Education vi Association (International Technology Education Association, 2000). The study also revealed that the majority of technology education teachers in Tennessee perceive a need for in-service training on all of the standards presented in the national standards. The greatest level of need was expressed for training in the areas of medical and agricultural engineering technologies. vii
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:technical education teachers tennessee

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