The idea that all students should learn about technology and engineering is relatively new on the educational landscape. The high school curriculum we take for granted today was largely shaped by the Committee of Ten, chaired by Harvard President Charles W. Eliot. More than a century ago, the Committee published a definitive report about what all students should learn (Eliot, 1893).
The Committee's report called for high school students to study English and mathematics, modern languages, history and geography, and the sciences — physics, astronomy, chemistry, and natural history, which we now call biology. Except for dropping the requirement that all students should study ancient Latin and Greek, the Committee of Ten's report still describes the high school curriculum of today.
Now after more than a century, an educational revolution is gaining momentum. National leaders in government, industry, and education have realized that in order to maintain our strength among industrialized nations, we must build a technologically literate citizenry. A major step in accomplishing this goal was taken in 2000 by the International Technology Education Association with the publication of standards that describe what everyone should know and be able to do in the areas of technology and engineering (ITEA, 2000). In 2001 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts followed suit with the first state-level curriculum framework that mandates technology and engineering be taught to all students at all levels K-12 (Massachusetts, 2001). A recent state-by-state analysis (Koehler et. al, 2007) found that nearly all state frameworks call for some technology and engineering education with an emphasis on technology and society issues, while a number of states — New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Delaware — call for the kind of in-depth learning about the engineering design process found in the Massachusetts framework.
WHAT WE OFFER
Online Resource For Teachers
All teachers new and returning, who are adopting ETF, have access to an on-line professional development resource. This is a virtual learning community where teachers can reflect on larger questions and issues, troubleshoot with other teachers, and get quick assistance and support with lesson planning and course content. Coverage is also open to materials management, as well as discussion some of the larger issues related to teaching engineering at the high school level. Resources on the website include:
- an active online bulletin board (available to teachers for questions, suggestions, and comments).
- shared lesson plans.
- additional rubrics.
- curriculum updates and developments.
- online teaching tools.
- powerpoint lessons.
- extension activities.
- teacher and facilitator assistance.
Schools that adopt the ETF course are urged to have at least one teacher attend a Summer Institute, where we have engaging discussions with colleagues, gain hands-on experiences in and helpful guidance on how to maximize classroom lessons, as well as resources to pull from when creating lesson plans. These are sure to have great stories and suggestions for implementation!
Each institute will:
- Offer hands-on experience using the course materials.
- Explore ways to adapt the course to meet specific needs.
- Hone skills in implementing inquiry- and design-based learning.
Online Professional Development Courses
For teachers outside the local area we have implemented online professional development. This professional development will include:
- How to connect curriculum to your educational standards.
- "See and do" modules for becoming familiar with ETF curriculum projects.
- Virtually facilitated discussions.
- Activities and resources for background content in engineering curricula.
Professional Development Courses for your School, Area, or State
The Engineering the Future team understands that professional development is important and wants to meet the needs of all of its teachers. For information regarding holding an ETF workshop in your school or district visit: http://www.its-about-time.com/etf/pages/pd.html.
Online teaching tools made possible by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Sample online teaching tool for teachers and students!
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Engineering the Future would like to acknowledge and thank all of the project team members, teachers, educators, schools, and students who contributed to the creation of the Engineering the Future curriculum.