The year 2009 is fast drawing to a close and I as I look back at everything that has taken place I think we should call it the “year of change.” This change began last November during the presidential elections. Candidates promised us change and I think we can truly say we have seen change in our political system, relations with other countries, the economy, and unfortunately unemployment.
Our political system, relations with other countries and the economy are not the only places that change has taken place in this country. Changes in our educational system have been coming for a long time and industrial technology education has not been spared. We are facing some major changes in the way we do things in order to meet the needs of industry and to stay abreast of changes happening in the world today. We need to adapt to change in order for this country to get through the tough times we are facing today and industrial technology should be leading the way.
As I prepared this issue of The Journal of Industrial Technology Education (JITE) Volume 46-2, I realized that it is undergoing a change also. Many of the authors in this volume are new, with refreshing ideas and important research. In the last volume (46-1) of JITE we issued a call for graduate papers. This request was answered and many of their manuscripts appear in this volume. The first graduate paper appears in the At Issue section: Students Must Understand Both Theory And Practice. Kevin Kaluf, a graduate student, along with Kara Harris authored this article dealing with the need and importance of Industrial Technology Education to train future engineers and technically skilled workers to meet the growing demand in this country.
An added bonus is in this volume is a second At Issue article written by another graduate student, Karina Baltierrez, whose article titled, Unlearning How I Have Been Taught, explains why she feels that we need to develop new teaching methods and styles to reach today’s students. Thomas Kraft submitted a very timely Under Review, a book explaining how to Build Your Own Electric Vehicle. He states that this book provides all the information you need to construct your own electric vehicle which with today’s high energy cost isn’t a bad idea.
There are four very interesting research manuscripts in the volume that challenge readers to look at old ways in a new way and gain a new prospective of important issues in industrial technology education. Problem Solving has been a topic in the field for a long time. Jeremy Ernst’s Contextual Problem Solving Model Origination provides the reader with a method to analyze components, sequencing, and challenges associated student problem solving models. Paul Munyoufu and Richard Kohr investigated several aspects of occupational skill assessment in their research A Calculus of Occupational Skill Attainment: Building More Validity into a Valid Assessment System.
Mark Threeton and Richard Walter provided readers with an insight on how to better meet the individual education needs of the learner in their manuscript The Relationship Between Personality Type And Learning Style: A Study Of Automotive Technology Students. In their research they sought to identify personality types and to see if there was a relationship between personality classification and learning style. Todd Kelley and Robert Wicklein authored the second of a three part manuscript Examination of Assessment Practices for Engineering Design Projects in Secondary Technology Education. Their research deals with the importance of infusing engineering content into industrial education classes, provides an in-depth study of engineering in our schools and provides the research needed. in addition it validates what Laluf and Harris wrote in their At Issue article.
Volume 46-2 should provide readers with new ideas for change and I hope it will encourage more interesting manuscripts and research in the field.