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Author Technology and Engineering Teacher - Volume 76, Issue 4 - December/January 2017
PublisherITEEA, Reston, VA
ReleasedNovember 15, 2016
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Technology and Engineering Teacher - Volume 76, Issue 4 - December/January 2017

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EDITORIAL: "Who Are We?"

TETJan17delaPaz

You don’t have to have been part of the field we now refer to as Technology and Engineering Education for very long to know that it has always experienced what might be termed an “identity crisis.” Not only does Technology and Engineering Education struggle with how it is perceived by those outside the field, the problem is endemic. Even those who are part of the field have differing opinions regarding what they have taught, what they teach now, and what they will teach in the future.

 

In this special issue of Technology and Engineering Teacher, we highlight three different interpretations of “who we are.” The viewpoints range from proposing a greater appreciation for industrial arts to completely rebranding the field as engineering education. They are by no means the only perspectives, but each provides a great deal of food for thought.

 

In “A Proposition to Engineering a Bridge: Reconnecting with the Industry-Based Educators,” the author suggests that “the realities of our society and the nationwide emphasis on college and career readiness have demonstrated that there are components of the former industrial arts curriculum that still hold significance to local communities.” More importantly, the notion is put forth that it is time for a stronger connection between industrial education and technology and engineering education.

 

“Technological Literacy: The Proper Focus to Educate ALL Students” strongly supports the concept of paying homage to our design-based roots but also providing “rigorous instruction that applies STEM skills and situates it as a valuable stakeholder among the core content areas.” The viewpoint also recognizes the importance of reaching additional students, rather than only those interested in vocational or engineering careers.

 

In “Engineering Education: A Clear Decision,” the authors make a strong case for “recasting” Technology and Engineering Education as P-12 Engineering Education. In so doing, it is asserted that students will gain valuable skills as well as a clear path to continued study, while the field itself would gain greater public understanding, resulting in additional support and acceptance.

 

As with all of the articles provided for you within Technology and Engineering Teacher, we hope this special issue will inspire further thought and conversation. In fact, we have scheduled a special panel presentation with the authors of all three viewpoints on Thursday, March 16 at 1:00 pm at ITEEA's Annual Conference in Dallas, TX. Hope to see you there!

 

Kathleen (Katie) de la Paz is ITEEA's Editor-in-Chief and Director of Communications. She can be reached at kdelapaz@iteea.org.