Important engineering and technology concepts and skills for all high school students in the United States: Comparing perceptions of engineering educators and high school teachers

Michael Hacker, Moshe Barak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Engineering and technology education (ETE) are receiving increased attention as components of STEM education. Curriculum development should be informed by perceptions of academic engineering educators (AEEs) and classroom technology teachers (CTTs) as both groups educate students to succeed in the technological world. The purpose of this study was to identify ETE concepts and skills needed by all high school students in the United States and to compare perceptions of AEEs and CTTs relative to their importance. This research was carried out using a modified Delphi research methodology involving three survey rounds interspersed with controlled opinion feedback. Consensus was found on 14 of 38 survey items within five ETE domains (design, modeling, systems, resources, and human values) that are repeatedly referenced in the literature. The most important competencies for high school students to learn were to: (1) identify and discuss environmental, health, and safety issues; (2) use representational modeling to convey the essence of a design; (3) use verbal or visual means to explain why an engineering design decision was made; and (4) show evidence of considering human factors when proposing design solutions. The study established a consensus between AEEs and CTTs that contributes to the body of knowledge about what high school students should learn in ETE. Study results can inform curriculum development and revision of the Standards for Technological Literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-52
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Technology Education
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Delphi
  • Engineering and technology education
  • High school
  • STEM
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering

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