Engineering technology as a vehicle for putting qualified technology teachers in high school classrooms

Ronald Rockland, Howard Kimmel, John Carpinelli, Joel Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Increasing the presence of engineering and technology in K-12 education has become a high priority for the nation's industrial future. Most middle and high school students and many of their teachers still do not have a positive attitude towards these fields and/or lack an understanding of the role of engineering, as well as the role of engineers and engineering technologists. How do we meet this challenge of bringing knowledge of these fields into K-12 classrooms? Various professional development programs have been developed and implemented by higher education institutions and educational organizations to help teachers acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to bring these concepts into their classrooms. But the availability of teacher preparation programs has not kept pace. Technology education, as a discipline, is relatively young, and is an outgrowth of the industrial arts program. Many educators consider the publication of the Jackson's Mill Industrial Arts Curriculum Theory document in 1981 as the starting point of the modern era of technology education. 1The rapidly increasing number of high school pre-engineering programs across the country has created a growing shortage of teachers qualified to teach such courses. Only recently have some states, such as New Jersey, revised their teacher certification code to authorize a "Teacher of Technology" certification or endorsement, and only one higher education institution in our state has had authorization to provide programs leading to teacher certification in Technology Education. Our university, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) does not have a teacher preparation program. However, we have established collaboration with a teacher preparation program in a neighboring institution in which our students earn their degree at NJIT, while earning teaching certification from the other institution. Several alternative programs were examined as possible vehicles for training teachers for the technology education certification. Currently, NJIT undergraduates are able to earn engineering degrees and then acquire teacher certification through the Department of Urban Education of Rutgers University - Newark. It was concluded that this may not be the best approach to increase the number of teachers. We have developed a program specifically for undergraduates who can earn a degree in Engineering Technology, while getting appropriate training in educational background and methods. This paper will describe the development of the program, its rationale, and the educational component of the program that will be putting qualified technology education teachers in high school classrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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