Journal of Technology Education

Journal of Technology Education

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

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Volume 3, Number 1
Fall 1991

               Perceptions and Practices of Technology Student Association Advisors on
               Implementation Strategies and Teaching Methods
                                      V. William  DeLuca
                                    William J. Haynie, III
                              Two of the most significant impacts on
                         the industrial arts profession since the
                         1960s have been the gradual evolution of the
                         technology education movement and the inte-
                         gration of the co-curricular student
                         organization: the Technology Student Associ-
                         ation (TSA). TSA began as the American Indus-
                         trial Arts Student Association (AIASA) and
                         has recently changed its name to reflect the
                         new curricular emphasis on technology.  In
                         1981, less than one-third of one percent of
                         the students in industrial arts courses actu-
                         ally joined AIASA (Haynie, 1983). There were
                         about 7 million industrial arts students, but
                         only 21,600 were members of the student or-
                         ganization (Applegate, 1981). Currently there
                         are about 6 million students in technology
                         education courses of which 65,000 (about 1%)
                         are members of TSA.  These data indicate that
                         TSA membership has tripled during the 1980s.
                         This student organization is becoming an im-
                         portant facet of the technology education
                              Research efforts on extracurricular ac-
                         tivities have focused on the relationship of
                         participation with students' emotional and
                         academic development.  Haensly, Lupkowski,
                         and Edling (1986) studied the role of extra-
                         curricular activities as they relate to per-
                         sonal and social development, and to academic
                         achievement.  They concluded that extracur-
                         ricular activities provide an important con-
                         text for social, emotional and academic
                         development. The positive effect of student
                         organizations on academic performance was
                         also supported by Camp (1987) who found that
                         participation in vocational student organiza-
                         tions produced a positive contribution to
                         student achievement.
                              Social and personal development is also
                         enhanced by participation in extracurricular
                         activities. Carter & Neason (1984) and
                         Townsend (1981) found a relationship between
                         vocational student organization participation
                         and results on scales of personal develop-
                         ment. Students who participated in vocational
                         student organizations often had a higher
                         socioeconomic status and higher self-esteem
                         (Collins, 1977). Other research has shown
                         that school activities are positively related
                         to enhanced self-concept (Yarworth &
                         Gauthier, 1978), increased social status
                         among peers (Spady, 1970), and greater satis-
                         faction with school (Nover, 1981).
                              These studies focused on determining the
                         effect of student organizations on students'
                         achievement and socialization. They clearly
                         describe the positive effect of student or-
                         ganizations in this realm, however, no
                         studies were found which examined the effect
                         of student organizations on teacher-student
                         interaction in a laboratory environment. With
                         technology education in its infancy, it is
                         important to determine the effects of co-
                         curricular and extra-curricular activities
                         and organizations on the total technology ed-
                         ucation program. This study sought to iden-
                         tify characteristics of technology education
                         programs with a TSA component and the re-
                         lationship between participation by a teach-
                         er's classes in co-curricular organizations
                         and the teaching methods used by technology
                              The sample for this study consisted of
                         TSA advisors in attendance at the 1989 Na-
                         tional Technology Education Student Associ-
                         ation Leadership Conference in Winston-Salem,
                         North Carolina, June 19 - 25, 1989. Each
                         school attending the conference was required
                         to have at least one advisor in attendance.
                         Though some schools brought more than one ad-
                         visor, only one was required to complete the
                         registration process for the entire school.
                         The survey was conducted during registration
                         while advisors waited in line. This approach
                         insured maximum participation and resulted in
                         the receipt of 102 usable response forms.
                              A 33 item questionnaire was developed by
                         the researchers for this study. Responses
                         were recorded on mark-sense answer sheets.
                         The first 9 items were designed to measure
                         the characteristics of participant's technol-
                         ogy education program and the ways in which
                         they implement their student organization
                         chapters. Specifically, items asked when and
                         where TSA functions were conducted and as-
                         sessed TSA advisors' perceptions of the
                         change to technology education. Item 9 re-
                         quired advisors to select the term which best
                         described the type of lab in which they teach
                         from 6 choices.
                              The remaining 24 items were used to
                         identify frequently used teaching methods and
                         differences in methodologies as a function of
                         implementation of the co-curricular approach.
                         These items used a five point Likert scale:
                         most frequently (A) to never (E).  Missing
                         responses were ignored in all cases except in
                         Item 9 which used "no response" to indicate
                         that the program was housed in an "integrated
                         general (multipurpose) laboratory".
                         DATA ANALYSIS
                              The collected data were analyzed with
                         SAS (Statistical Analysis System) software.
                         Frequency and percent tables were generated
                         for each item and correlations were conducted
                         when there were apparent reasons to investi-
                         gate relationships. For each item requiring a
                         Likert response, numeric values from 5 (most
                         frequently) to 1 (never) were assigned to the
                         responses and a mean score was determined.
                         These means were rank ordered for further in-
                              Two items were used as the basis of a
                         second analysis to see if those teachers who
                         had not originally favored the name change or
                         those who teach in traditional (unit shop)
                         labs used different methods and strategies
                         more often than those who did favor name
                         change or who teach in more contemporary
                         (conceptually oriented) labs.
                              Results of the survey were analyzed to
                         describe the characteristics of technology
                         education programs with a TSA component, de-
                         scribe and classify teaching methods, and de-
                         termine if there were differences in the
                         teaching methods used in programs which em-
                         ployed a co-curricular approach vs. those
                         which implemented TSA on an extra-curricular
                              The responses to Items 1 through 8 are
                         shown in Table 1.  All respondents claimed to
                         have an active TSA chapter--which is also in-
                         dicated by their attendance at the national
                         TSA conference.
                              In Item 2, 72% of the advisors indicated
                         that meetings and activities were held after
                         school. Activity periods during the school
                         day were used by 53% (Item 3), indicating
                         that some teachers conduct TSA
                         activities/meetings at both times.
                         TABLE 1
                         RESPONSES TO ITEMS 1 THROUGH 8
                                                    Yes         No        N A...
                         Item #    Stem             #   %       #  %      #   %
                         1    Active TSA chapter    102 100     0 --      0  --
                         2    Chapter meetings      74  72.5   27 26.5    1 1.0
                         3    Meetings in activity
                              periods               54  52.9   40 39.2    8 7.9
                         4    Co-curricular approach
                                                    36  35.3   62 60.8    4 3.9
                         5    State adopted/
                              approved course names 90  88.2    8  7.8    4 3.9 

                         6    State adopted
                              curriculum            86  84.3   11 10.8    5 4.9
                         7    Favored name change
                              5 years ago           68  66.7   30 29.4    4 3.9
                         8    Like new name now     92  90.2    7  6.9    3 2.9
                         NOTE:  Percentage values rounded to one decimal place.
                              Most of the advisors (88%) teach courses
                         which are named in state adopted curriculum
                         guides (Item 5).  Additionally, 84% indicated
                         that their curricula closely follow the state
                         guidelines (Item 6).
                              Two items (7 and 8) asked about teach-
                         ers' attitudes toward the name change to
                         technology education. Item 7 asked if teach-
                         ers favored the new name five years prior to
                         the survey and Item 8 asked if they are now
                         pleased with the change.  Only 67% of the
                         teachers favored the change in 1984, but 90%
                         of them are currently satisfied that the new
                         name represents our programs well. Chi-square
                         testing found a significant difference: X2(5,
                         N = 102) = 18.04,  P < .01.  This indicates
                         that a change in attitudes toward the new
                         name had occurred over the five year period.
                              Unit laboratories (woods, metals, draw-
                         ing, etc.) are still in use by half of the
                         teachers. Ten percent of the teachers re-
                         ported they use "manufacturing" labs, and an-
                         other 12% use "communication" labs. Only 2%
                         use "construction" labs and 1% use "transpor-
                         tation" labs. Other than unit labs, the most
                         often used are multi-purpose labs, which were
                         reported by 25% of the teachers.
                         TEACHING METHODS
                              The remaining items concerned implemen-
                         tation of various teaching strategies.  A
                         five point Likert scale was used to determine
                         the relative frequency of use for each tech-
                         nique.  Results on these 24 items appear in
                         Table 2.  The methods and strategies are rank
                         ordered in the table by their mean scores--
                         the first items listed were reported by the
                         most teachers. Results were analyzed to iden-
                         tify frequently used teaching methods. In
                         many instances, when implementing technology
                         education activities,
                         several teaching methods are used. Therefore,
                         data were analyzed to identify teaching
                         method clusters.
                         TABLE 2
                         RESPONSES TO ITEMS 10 THROUGH 33
                                             Weighted           Responses
                         Ranking  Stem       Mean   A     B     C     D     E     NA
                         (Item #)
                         1    Demonstrations 4.32   42    53    6     0     1
                         (12)                       41.2% 52.0% 5.9   --    1.0%
                         2    Lecture-       4.07   29    53    16    3     0     1
                         (13) demonstrations        28.4% 52.0% 15.7% 2.9%  --    1.0%
                         3    Individual     4.05   33    42    26    1
                         (17) instruction           32.4% 41.2% 25.5% 1.0%
                         4    Individual     3.92   30    41    21    7     1     2
                         (24) projects              29.4% 40.2% 20.6% 6.9%  1.0%  2.0%
                         5    Lectures of 10 3.67   21    30    43    4     1     3
                         (10) to 25 minutes         20.6% 29.4% 42.2% 3.9%  1.0%  3.0%
                         6    Group projects 3.64   18    42    32    7     3
                         (22)                       17.6% 41.2% 31.4% 6.9%  2.9%
                         7    Lab experiments3.61   21    35    32   11     2     1
                         (21)                       20.6% 34.3% 31.4%10.8%  2.0%  1.0%
                         8    Discussion     3.55   16    35    42    7     2
                         (14) (teacher led)         15.7% 34.3% 41.2% 6.9%  2.0%
                         9    Student        3.46   15     31   41    13    1     1
                         (26) designed or selected  14.7%  30.4%40.2  12.7% 1.0%  1.0%
                              (free choice) project
                         10   Teacher        3.38   9      40   35    14    3     1
                         (25) designed or assigned  8.8%   39.2%34.3% 13.7% 2.9%  1.0%
                              assigned projects
                         11   Computers used 3.38   23     33   19    9     16    2
                         (31) by students in lab.   22.5%  32.4%18.6% 8.8%  15.7% 2.0%
                         12   Computers used 3.32   26     29   14    11    19    3
                         (32) to prepare materials  25.5%  28.4%13.7  10.8% 18.6% 2.9%
                         13   Small group    3.21   7      29   47    14    4     1
                         (18) discussion            6.9%   28.4%46.1% 3.7%  3.9%  1.0%
                         14   Computers for  3.21   24     21   20    13    18    6
                         (33) clerical chores       23.5%  20.6%19.6% 12.7% 17.6% 5.9%
                         15   Group designed 3.19   7      33   35    22    3     2
                         (27) /selected projects    6.9%   32.4%34.3% 21.6% 2.9%  2.0%
                         16   Student peer   3.12   6      27   46    19    4
                         (20) tutors                5.9%   26.5%45.1% 18.6% 3.9%
                         17   Mass production3.12   9      29   38    17    9
                         (23) project (Line         8.8%   28.4%37.3% 16.7% 8.8%
                         18   Traditional    3.10   4      23   55    15    3     2
                         (16) media                 3.9%   22.5%53.9% 14.7% 2.9%  2.0%
                         19   Computers for  3.08   12     33   22    17    16    2
                         (29) presenting information11.8%  32.4%21.6% 16.7% 15.7% 2.0%
                         20   Computers for  3.01   12     31   22    16    19    2
                         (30) demonstrations        11.8%  30.4%21.6% 15.7% 18.6% 2.0%
                         21   Discovery      2.93   8      21   37    24    10    2
                         (28) method                7.8%   20.6%36.3% 23.5% 9.8%  2.0%
                         22   Lectures of    2.68   6      15   32    38    11
                         (11) over 30 minutes       5.9%   14.7%31.4% 37.3  10.8%
                         23   Seminar        2.55   3      13   32    43    11
                         (15) (student led)         2.9%   12.7%31.4% 42.2% 10.8%
                         24   Role Playing   2.45   4      11   31    34    20    2
                         (19)                       3.9%   10.8%30.4% 33.3% 19.6% 2.0%
                              Demonstrations are still very popular
                         methods of teaching as shown by the high per-
                         centage (93%) of teachers who use them fre-
                         quently or most frequently.
                         "Lecture-demonstrations" are also used by 80%
                         of the teachers. There was a correlation of R
                         = .38, P < .0001 between Items 12 and 13
                         (ranked 1st and 2nd).
                              The third highest ranking was received
                         by Item 17, which found that individualized
                         instruction was used frequently or more often
                         by 74% of the teachers and nearly all of them
                         (99%) use it at least sometimes.  There was a
                         correlation of R = .32, P < .001, between
                         Items 20 (student peer tutors) and 17, which
                         indicates that many of the same teachers who
                         use individualized instruction also use peer
                              Items 10 and 11 (ranked 5th and 22nd)
                         show that lectures, when used, tend to be
                         short in length. In Item 14, most teachers
                         reported that they use "discussion (teacher
                         led, class participatory)" to some extent.
                         The ranking for this item was 8th and it
                         found that only 16% use discussion "most fre-
                         quently," but a total of 91% use it at least
                              Small group discussions (Item 18) were
                         used sometimes or more frequently by 82% of
                         the teachers and ranked 13th. Role playing is
                         used frequently by only 15% of the teachers,
                         but an additional 30% use it sometimes (Item
                         19--ranked last at 24th). A correlation of R
                         = .52, P < .0001, was found between Items 18
                         and 19, so many of the same teachers use both
                         small group discussions and role playing ac-
                              Individual projects (Item 24) are still
                         used frequently by 70% of the teachers and at
                         least sometimes by 91%. In fact, 30% of the
                         teachers use individual projects most fre-
                         quently, so their popularity overall has
                         waned little, if any. Individual projects
                         ranked 4th in this survey; however, there
                         were negative correlations between this item
                         and two others: Item 23, mass production
                         projects (R = -.26, P < .009), and Item 15,
                         seminar (R = -.31, P < .0015). The highest
                         positive correlation between this item and
                         any others on the survey was a correlation of
                         R = .30, P < .002 with Item 2 (teacher
                         designed/assigned projects). Of those teach-
                         ers whose programs are housed in unit labs,
                         41% use individual projects most frequently,
                         but only 19% of the teachers in conceptually
                         oriented labs choose this approach most fre-
                              Group projects, promoted by most new
                         curriculum efforts, have been used by many
                         teachers as shown by their 6th place ranking
                         (Item 22).  A total of 90% of the teachers
                         reported using group projects at least some-
                         times; 59% use them frequently. This item
                         correlated positively with Item 23, mass pro-
                         duction projects (R =  .59, P < .0001); and
                         Item 27, group designed/selected projects (R
                         = .32, P < .0009).
                              Laboratory experiments (Item 21) ranked
                         7th and were used frequently by over half of
                         the teachers. There were positive corre-
                         lations between this item and first ranked
                         Item 12, demonstrations (R = .33, P < .0008);
                         Item 13 (ranked 2nd), lecture-demonstrations
                         (R = .35, P < .0003); and Item 28 (ranked
                         21), discovery method (R = .33, P < .0008).
                         Small group discussions and class discussions
                         were also found to have a slight positive
                         correlation with laboratory experiments.
                              Item 25 (ranked 10th) found that about
                         half of the teachers (49%) use teacher
                         designed/assigned projects frequently and a
                         total of 83% use them sometimes. Student
                         designed/selected (free choice) projects were
                         reported to be used frequently by 45% of the
                         teachers and ranked 9th in the survey (Item
                         26). In Item 27, 39% of the teachers reported
                         that they use group designed/selected
                         projects frequently to yield a ranking of
                         15th. There was a positive correlation of R =
                         .47, P < .0001 between Items 26 and 27. Item
                         27 also correlated with Item 23, mass pro-
                         duction (R = .38, P < .0001), and Item 22,
                         group projects (R = .32, P < .0009).
                              Mass production (line production)
                         projects (Item 23--ranked 17th) are used fre-
                         quently by 37% of teachers and at least some-
                         times by 74%. Positive correlations were
                         found between this item and five others: Item
                         14, discussion (R = .34, P < .0005); Item 18,
                         small group discussions (R = .39, P < .0001);
                         Item 19, role playing (R = .44, P < .0001);
                         Item 22, group projects (see above); and Item
                         27, group designed/selected projects (R =
                         .38, P < .0001). There was also a slight neg-
                         ative correlation between this item and Item
                         24, individual projects (R = -.26, P < .009),
                         which indicates that teachers who have
                         adopted this learning activity are somewhat
                         turning their backs on the traditionally pop-
                         ular individual project.
                              The discovery method (Item 28--ranked
                         21st) was used frequently by 28% of teachers
                         and sometimes by a total of 65%. The highest
                         correlation found with this item was with
                         Item 21, lab experiments (R = .33, P <
                         TABLE 3
                         CORRELATIONS BETWEEN ITEMS 29 THROUGH 33
                         No.    Stem (abbreviated)            29   30   31   32  33
                         29     Computers for presenting info --  .91  .81  .73 .60
                         30     Computers for demonstrations       --  .85  .78 .61
                         31     Computers by students                   --  .84 .56
                         32     Computers to prepare materials              --  .77
                         33     Computers for clerical chores                    --
                         NOTES: All values rounded to two decimal places.  All
                         values significant beyond the .0001 level.
                              The last five items on the questionnaire
                         concerned uses of computers in technology ed-
                         ucation.  In Item 29 (ranked 19th), 44% of
                         teachers claimed to use computers frequently
                         for presenting information. In Item 30, 42%
                         used computers frequently for demonstrations
                         (rank = 20). Computers were used frequently
                         by students for lab activities in the classes
                         of 55% of the teachers (Item 31--ranked 11).
                         Item 32 found that 54% of the teachers use
                         computers frequently to prepare materials
                         (rank = 12).  In Item 33, nearly half of the
                         teachers (44%) said they use computers for
                         clerical chores, resulting in a ranking of
                         14th. There were several high positive corre-
                         lations among this set of related items, and
                         these are presented in Table 3. These
                         findings indicate that roughly half of the
                         technology education teachers have become
                         very involved with computers, those who use
                         computers employ them for multiple uses, and
                         the rest of the teachers are generally not
                         using computers for any of the applications
                         studied here. No significant correlations
                         were found between any form of computer
                         utilization and any other factor or teaching
                         strategies on this questionnaire.
                         CO-CURRICULAR DIFFERENCES
                              Item 4 asked teachers if they used a co-
                         curricular approach to implement their TSA
                         organization.  The co-curricular (in-class)
                         approach was employed by only 35% of the re-
                         spondents overall.  Thus, the remaining 65%
                         employ TSA on an extra-curricular (after
                         school or activity period) basis only. This
                         item showed some difference on the two de-
                         rived subsets: among those who taught in mod-
                         ern labs, 41% used the co-curricular
                         approach, but only 29% of those in tradi-
                         tional unit labs did. Of those who favored
                         the name change 5 years prior to the survey
                         42% used this approach, but only 21% of those
                         who opposed the name change use the co-
                         curricular approach.
                              The answers to this item were also used
                         to identify subgroups for comparison of
                         teaching methods used by teachers incorporat-
                         ing the co-curricular approach and those that
                         did not. Teachers who used the co-curricular
                         approach showed differences on the use of six
                         teaching methods. The co-curricular group
                         used the short lecture (10 to 25 min.) more
                         frequently than the extra curricular group
                         X2(8, N 105) = 22.46, P < .013, and they used
                         individual projects less frequently X2(8, N =
                         105) = 21.89, P < .016. Seminar X2(8, N =
                         105) = 16.02, P < .042; Role play X2(8, N =
                         105) = 17.34, P < .027; and Lab experiments
                         X2(8, N = 105) = 17.72, P < .01 all showed a
                         significant increase in frequency with teach-
                         ers who employed the co-curricular approach.
                              The characteristics of technology educa-
                         tion programs reflect the curricular transi-
                         tion of our profession.  Although about
                         one-third of the teachers had opposed chang-
                         ing the name of industrial arts to technology
                         education, currently 90% are pleased with the
                         new name.  The significant Chi-square value
                         found indicates there has been a shift in at-
                         titudes since 1984.  Half of the teachers re-
                         ported their programs are housed in
                         traditional unit labs (woods, metals, draft-
                         ing, etc.). These labs are not as effective
                         for implementation of technology based cur-
                         ricula as multipurpose and conceptually de-
                         fined labs (manufacturing, communications,
                         etc.). However, the most often reported con-
                         ceptually defined labs were communications
                         labs, which were only claimed by 12% of the
                         teachers, and manufacturing labs used by less
                         than 10%.  Where they exist, construction and
                         transportation courses must currently be
                         housed in general purpose labs or force-fit
                         into other sorts of labs because special con-
                         struction and transportation labs were re-
                         ported by only 2% and 1% of the teachers
                         respectively. It is possible that the lack of
                         appropriate facilities is making the curric-
                         ular shift toward technology difficult. Even
                         so, over 80% of the teachers reported that
                         they teach courses named in state adopted
                         curriculum guides and that their curricula
                         closely follow those guides. So, despite fa-
                         cilities which may be inadequate in some
                         ways, many teachers are trying to implement
                         technology education in some fashion.
                              Typical teaching methods include demon-
                         strations, lecture-demonstrations, and dis-
                         cussion. Individualized instruction is used
                         frequently by over 74% of the teachers and
                         sometimes by nearly all of them. Information
                         is frequently presented via computers by al-
                         most half of the teachers (44%).
                              Student laboratory activities frequently
                         employed include individual projects (70%),
                         group projects (58%), lab experiments (55%),
                         computer use by students (55%), and mass pro-
                         duction projects (37%).
                              Though other vocational student organ-
                         izations (i.e., FFA, VICA, and others) gener-
                         ally use the co-curricular (in class)
                         approach, it is not universally accepted in
                         technology education classes for TSA. There
                         was evidence that teachers in unit labs and
                         those who initially opposed the name change
                         to technology education were less likely than
                         their peers to use this technique. Even among
                         the group of teachers who have seen the ad-
                         vantages of TSA for their students, and who
                         advise active TSA chapters, only a little
                         over a third use the co-curricular approach
                         that has been so successful for other student
                              The results showed that the co-
                         curricular approach altered the character-
                         istics of the program over a number of items.
                         Forty-one percent of the programs were housed
                         in modern labs. Teachers implementing the co-
                         curricular approach used short lectures more
                         frequently and incorporated seminar, role
                         play and lab experiments more frequently.
                         Correlation analysis showed that these items
                         were associated with small group discussion,
                         class discussion, and discovery method among
                              The function of this difference is a
                         change in the learning environment. Methods
                         such as role play and seminar shift the em-
                         phasis of discourse from teacher-to-student
                         to student-to-student interaction.  According
                         to Sternberg & Martin (1988, p. 569) student
                         interaction is a necessary transition for de-
                         veloping problem solving skill. Costa (1984)
                         associates methods such as seminar and role
                         play with techniques that promote the devel-
                         opment of thinking skills.
                              As facilities and curricula evolve in
                         the 1990s, there will be many forces that
                         will mold technology education. TSA organiza-
                         tions will certainly be one of those forces.
                         This study characterized technology education
                         programs with a TSA component and showed the
                         effect of co-curricular organizations on the
                         classroom environment. The influence that
                         student organizations have on curricula and
                         teaching methods should not be overlooked.
                         When co-curricular TSA organizations are im-
                         plemented, the organization becomes part of
                         the education system and has the potential to
                         alter the learning environment.
                              The relationship demonstrated here em-
                         phasizes the importance of developing a re-
                         search paradigm to study the effect of TSA on
                         technology education programs.  Specifically,
                         norms that define the characteristics of
                         technology education programs with a TSA com-
                         ponent should be established using this study
                         as a base. Then, TSA variables (i.e. goals,
                         activities, competitive events) should be an-
                         alyzed to determine their effect on normed
                         V. William DeLuca and William J. Haynie are
                         Assistant Professors, Technology Education,
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               Journal of Technology Education   Volume 3, Number 1       Fall 1991