Journal of Technology Education

Journal of Technology Education

Current Editor: Chris Merrill,
Previous Editors: Mark Sanders 1989-1997; James LaPorte: 1997-2010

As an open access journal, the JTE does not charge fees for authors to publish or readers to access.

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Volume 2, Number 2
Spring 1991

               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

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               Journal of Technology Education   Volume 2, Number 2       Spring 1991