JITE v32n2 - At Issue - Our Challenge: Technology for All Americans

Volume 32, Number 2
Winter 1995

Our Challenge: Technology for All Americans

Richard Satchwell and William E. Dugger, Jr.
Technology for All Americans Project

In October 1994, the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration awarded the International Technology Education Association a contract to produce the National Standards for Technology Education. The Technology for All Americans Project will parallel other national endeavors (e. g., Mathematics, Science, History, Social Studies, Geography) to conceptualize and develop standards that prepare all American students with a desired level of knowledge, values, and skills related to technology.

The Technology for All Americans Project is divided into two phases. The goal for phase one of this project is to develop a long-term vision for what the intellectual domain for technology education should be. The research and development for this goal has been funded and is well under way. Recently, the newly formed National Commission for Technology for All Americans met to begin discussion, which will ultimately lead to the Rationale and Structure for future Technology Education curriculum content. The commission is composed of experts in technology and technology education, curriculum development, science, mathematics, engineering, industry, government, and professional associations.

The evolving consensus of the profession on what the "intellectual domain" for technology should be makes it essential that this project begin with the research and development of a rationale and content structure. In a recent meeting of the Commission, experts in and outside the field of technology education engaged in a healthy dialogue to formulate, define, organize, and agree upon the intellectual domain for the study of technology. Research and consensus will be essential to the successful completion of Standards for Technology Education in phase two of the project.

The second phase of this project will seek funding to continue this effort so that the profession can develop, validate, and gain national consensus on the Standards for curriculum content in technology education. Standards will be developed during the second phase of this project that reflect the uniqueness of grade levels K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Additional goals for the second phase of the project include (a) standards for assessing student progress, (b) standards for technology education programs, and (c) standards for teacher preparation.

During both phases of this project, every effort will be made to research the accomplishments of other Standards projects from allied disciplines such as science, mathematics, and engineering. In doing so, the commission will build upon the past efforts of technology education without disregarding the vast accumulated knowledge base of others who have accepted their own challenges. In addition, every effort will be made to employ a wide range of techniques to (a) broaden national awareness of technology education, (b) gather and include information from as many groups as possible, and (c) disseminate the process/products to as wide an audience as possible. The project staff feel this will be very important in the development of consensus.

In the coming months the project's staff will seek as much input as possible from those inside and outside the field of technology education. Several national workshops will be held in conjunction with various national conferences, as well as several regional workshops planned for the summer and fall of 1995.


Satchwell is Assistant Project Director and Dugger is Project Director for the Technology for All Americans Project . The project staff can be reached at their new office located at 1997 South Main Street, Suite 701, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0353. By phone: (703) 953-0203, by Fax: (703) 953-0014, or by email ( t.ed.stan.proj@bev.net )

Reference Citation: Satchwell, R., & Dugger, Jr., W. E. (1995). Our challenge: Technology for all Americans. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education , 32(2), 93-94.