Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (STEL) Revision

In Progress
Project Status
March 17, 2020

DOWNLOAD the STEL Executive Summary

Development of Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (International Technology and Engineering Educator Association (ITEA/ITEEA, 2000/2002/2007) was undertaken in the late 1990s with funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA. When published in 2000, the STL standards established content guidelines and benchmarks for learning across the K-12 spectrum for technology and engineering education programs across the United States and beyond.

Standards “provide criteria that people at the local, state, and national levels can use” to make judgments about curricula, and they serve to “bring coordination, consistency, and coherence” to this process (National Academy of Sciences [NAS], 2018, para.10). Much like Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) and NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2000), Standards for Technological Literacy has served as the basis for decision making and educational planning across a wide spectrum of school programs, districts, state departments of education, teacher certification exams, and national curriculum development efforts.

When originally published in 2000, Standards for Technological Literacy established content guidelines and benchmarks for learning across the K-12 spectrum for technology and engineering education programs in the United States and beyond. However, the technologically designed world and the knowledge required to be productive in it continues to evolve. Educational leaders realize that what students should know and be able to do is different today from what was required in the past, particularly in subjects like technology and engineering, which evolve rapidly.

ITEEA and its Council on Technology and Engineering Teacher Education (CTETE) are working together to plan for this needed revision. The proposed STEL (Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy) Revision Conference will build upon the preparatory activities initiated in 2018 by bringing together 38 educators in August 2019 to review and refine an updated standards document, with a target publication date of early 2020 for the newly revised STEL document.

Now is the time to update these content standards to make them relevant and beneficial to curriculum leaders, universities, classroom teachers, school districts, textbook writers, and technology and engineering resource developers. Board members from CTETE and ITEEA strongly concluded that a more rigorous process is needed to update the standards in order to provide informed guidance to the field and to better reflect the role of technology and engineering in the changing K-12 STEM landscape.

In November 2018, a survey was released to 60,000 ITEEA members and stakeholders around the world to solicit input on STEL, including the format and possible deletion or addition of standards. ITEEA received 1,443 responses including 13.4% of ITEEA members. Highlights of the survey results are provided on the next page. Additional opportunities for input on the STEL revision will be provided to members in the coming year.