Over the past several decades there has been a call to raise student technological literacy. To take such an abstract concept and produce a program that will increase student science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) literacy was not an easy task. However, it was accomplished. During the past two years many United States school districts have offered several Engineering byDesign[TM] courses. Teachers of one of the courses, Foundations of Technology, enjoyed teaching the course and unanimously agree that it will help raise student technological literacy. This article will discuss the Foundations of Technology course and provide results of a study that determined teachers' feelings concerning the course.
Engineering byDesign[TM] and Foundations of Technology
Addressing the lack of technological literacy in the United States, the International Technology Education Association--Center to Advance the Teaching of Technology and Science (ITEA-CATTS) developed the Engineering byDesign[TM] (EbD[TM]) National Model Program. The program was developed in consultation and collaboration with "ITEA-CATTS Consortium, Technology Education Advisory Council, ITEA Institutional Members, and the Mathematics, Science, and Engineering communities" (ITEA-CATTS, 2006, p. 2). The EbD[TM] program mission is to provide courses of study enabling students to meet local, state, and national standards for technological literacy. The program currently consists of 10 standards-based courses starting in the sixth grade and continuing through college-level coursework.
Foundations of Technology is the cornerstone high school Engineering by Design[TM] course. The course focuses on three dimensions of technological literacy, "knowledge, ways of thinking and acting, and capabilities" (ITEA, 2006, p. 12). The course addresses 12 standards from ITEA's Standards for Technological …