Journal of Technology Education


JTE Editor: Mark Sanders

Volume 2, Number 2
Spring 1991


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FROM THE EDITOR
 
               As I ponder the current trends in voca-
          tional and science education, I become
          schizophrenic.... I'm not sure whether to be
          overwhelmed with optimism, or distraught with
          paranoia.  It seems that in both camps, peo-
          ple are talking about us without necessarily
          calling our name.
               Just as industrial arts education was
          forever changed by federal legislation in the
          1970s, the Carl D. Perkins Act of 1990 prom-
          ises to do the same for technology education.
          While it is impossible to project exactly HOW
          the Act will impact our profession, you can
          bet it won't be "business as usual" in the
          coming decade.
               Among other initiatives, the Perkins Act
          seeks to encourage the integration of aca-
          demic and vocational content.  This would
          seem to bode well for technology education,
          since we have been working for more than a
          century to establish an optimal mix of the
          cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains
          of learning.  To the uninitiated, technology
          education may even appear to BE the inte-
          gration of academic and vocational curricula.
          In many technology education labs, it still
          takes more than a sidelong glance to appreci-
          ate the differing philosophies that underlie
          technology and vocational education.  Yet,
          there is no clear mandate in the Act for
          technology education to assume a primary
          leadership role in this regard.
               As the vocational and academic sectors
          grope to develop integration models, I would
          hope we in technology education would
          (finally) be recognized for our excellence in
          this arena.  There is, of course, the danger
          of being subsumed in the process.
               At the same time, the science education
          community is working around the clock to make
          their curricula more relevant, a task which
          has logically led them to consider
          "technology-based" activities.  It is becom-
          ing increasingly difficult to differentiate
          between science and technology education
          content/methodology.  The "Principles of
          Technology" course is a good case in point.
          Is it a science course or a technology
          course?  Both, I guess, since it is being
          taught by both science and technology teach-
          ers.  The activities described in progressive
          science textbooks mirror those found in  pro-
          gressive technology textbooks.  At the risk
          of sounding repetitious, I would hope we in
          technology education would be recognized for
          our excellence in THIS arena as well.
               At times, I think we ARE beginning to be
          recognized for our strengths in these areas.
          The recent reorganization of my State Depart-
          ment of Education has resulted in a new ad-
          ministrative position for technology
          education that appears to carry more clout
          than it used to.  This was, however, an indi-
          rect result of more than two decades of
          strong state leadership in technology educa-
          tion in Virginia.  And, it does not com-
          pletely negate the net loss of technology
          education administrative positions resulting
          from the reorganization.
               So what is to be made of the current
          trends in vocational and science education?
          Well, as usual, we have a lot of work to do
          to make others aware of the enormous contrib-
          utions we have been making in education.  As
          I read the reports on science and vocational
          education, I can't help but think we haven't
          given ourselves enough credit.  They want
          technology-based activities... we've got 'em.
          They want an integration of academic and vo-
          cational content... check us out.  We remain
          our own worst critics.  It is time to get
          ourselves onto the ballot and let the public
          decide.  


          Permission is given to copy any
          article or graphic provided credit is given and
          the copies are not intended for sale.
 
Journal of Technology Education   Volume 2, Number 2       Spring 1991

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