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Value Added Outcomes of Technology Education by David A. Janosz, Jr. - May 2007

What are the value added outcomes of Technology Education programs?

Workforce Skills for the 21st Century
The business community says they need students entering the workforce that have the ability to be flexible in the business environment, to solve problems, and have the ability to work with a group as well as independently.  Technology learning activities are set up in such a way that students can learn the “soft skills” that are required by today’s employers including, but not limited to, time management, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork.

Achievement in Mathematics, Science, and Language Arts
Research shows that experiences in Technology Education can have a positive impact on achievement in math, science, and language arts.  Technology Education provides “hands-on minds-on” relevant learning and provides answers to the age-old question: Why do we need to know this?  It breaks down the barriers of subject area separation and provides context for real life application of knowledge.  As students analyze the designed world around them, they will develop the ability to synthesize new information.  The essential skills gained through Technology Education courses.

Innovation Capacity
Children can be taught to be innovative, inventive, creative and competitive for success in a global economy.  Technology Education is the only area of the common school curriculum that achieves this by teaching students about past technological innovations and also creating opportunities for students to design solutions to real world technological problems and provides an opportunity for practice in the processes of design and innovation.  Students in Technology Education learn how the processes of research and development lead to new processes and products.

Technological Literacy
One of the main goals of Technology Education is to create technologically literate citizens capable of thriving in a technological society.  A critical element of the education of all students for the twenty-first century, technological literacy is the ability to use, manage, evaluate, and understand technology.  An understanding of technology and its societal and social impacts, both positive and negative, and study about topics such as alternative energies, biotechnology, robotics, and nanotechnology will help students make informed decisions, participate in the democratic process, and contribute to society.

Engineering and Other Design Professions
Technology Education directly supports specific design related professions, especially engineering, architecture, and industrial design and advanced study can provide an appropriate orientation and transition to these fields.  Students in Technology Education learn what engineers, architects and other designers do in their day-to-day profession and how they solve problems, create technology, and help people.

Delivery System
The content and process knowledge conveyed through Technology Education programs is best delivered by trained professionals. The content of Technology Education is best dealt with through an integrated system at elementary grade levels by teachers trained in the appropriate methodologies.  At middle and high school grade levels, other areas of the curriculum do not make the time available and teachers of other areas cannot be counted on to deliver content in the safest, most effective ways.  “Infusion” of these concepts into other areas of the curriculum is ineffective as it leaves learning up to chance.  Technology should be taught to every student in every district every year.