As a child of the Sixties, my philosophical beliefs have been shaped by a society that was based on both peace and inclusion. As a new professional, one of my first professional relationships was with NAITTE, the National Association for Industrial and Technical Teacher Educators, and its scholarly publication the Journal of Industrial Teacher Education. NAITTE leaders were the icons of the field. It was NAITTE leader and Journal editor, Frank Pratzner who mentored me through my first Journal publication, and its many rewrites. It was because of these NAITTE leaders’ passion and dedication to the profession that I came to develop a true appreciation of the benefits of a professional organization such as NAITTE. As a new teacher educator and now as a seasoned veteran, I have said and continue to say that NAITTE is my one true love. That is why the last decade has been very troubling to me as I watched the decline in the association’s membership. In discussions with both current and previous NAITTE Executive Committee members, we all shared this same passion for NAITTE and we desperately wanted the association to endure. But that has not been the case.
It is my belief that this decline is based on the changing landscape of education, both in our secondary schools and in the university-based teacher education programs. In order for our association to maintain its leadership, our association must change with the times. The current national emphasis is, and is projected to be in the future, STEM education. That is why the NAITTE Executive Committee brought forward a proposal to change NAITTE to the Association for sTEm Teacher Education (ASTE). Your associational leadership has one true love, and that is our professional association once called NAITT, formally called NAITTE, and now called ASTE. We are attempting all avenues to expand the reach of ASTE and develop a professional passion for your association by a more inclusive group of teacher educators, those involved in STEM teacher education.
This will be the last issue of the Journal of Industrial Teacher Education. Beginning with Volume 47, Number 2, the Journal will be titled the Journal of sTEm Teacher Education. Please join with us, as ASTE moves forward into its 74th year of serving the professional development needs of industrial, technical, technology, and engineering teacher educators, plus a broadening field that includes STEM teacher educators focused on the “T&E” of science and math.
George E. Rogers, Ed.D., DTE is a Professor and Coordinator of Engineering/Technology Teacher Education at Purdue University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.