Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Technology Teachers Add Engineering (think Design)

It happened so quickly and smoothly that some people hardly noticed but the International Technology Educators Association added Engineering to its name so it is now the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (left) and its publication Technology Teacher (far right) is now called Technology and Engineering Teacher (right).

The significance of this simple change is monumental. Technology Educators have made a move to incorporate design into their curriculum and to be the locus of design education in schools. Engineering is very closely related to design and the Engineering Design Process Model is almost identical to the Design Process Model:
1. State the problem
2. Generate ideas
3. Select a solution
4. Build the item
5. Evaluate
6. Present the results

Engineering is the "E" in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the Technology Teachers were wise to add this to their curriculum. While art educators have made some feeble gestures at adding "Art" to make it "STEAM" they missed the opportunity to claim Design as part of their domain. Design makes up three of the ten Standards for Technology Literacy but is not included in Standards for Art Education (which could then have been Standards for Visual Literacy).

Design is the kind of problem solving the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has in mind for their educational initiatives and the Technology Teachers are well positioned to take the lead in filling that need.

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