Volume 2, Number 2
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
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
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Journal of Technology Education Volume 2, Number 2 Spring 1991