Identification of Quality Characteristics for Technology Education Programs: A North Carolina Case Study

Aaron C Clark
1999 Journal of Technology Education  
Since its beginning, technology education has consistently pursued quality outcomes in course offerings. Especially during the past 25 years, the process of establishing standards, or outcomes, has been a major area of focus at both the national and state levels (Dugger, 1988) . After interviewing North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction state officials, it was found that North Carolina had not identified indicators of quality that could be used to assess whether technology
more » ... technology education programs throughout the state are meeting statewide curriculum goals and objectives. The identification of such quality indicators and the development of a correlated check sheet was the purpose of this study. Program quality has been a concern for practitioners within technology education. However, what constitutes the elements of quality has not been adequately investigated. For example, Henak (1992) declared that quality learning in a technology education program comes from the content, learning process, experiences, and growth opportunities offered to students. The problem of educational quality and its assessment extends to the whole of education. According to the Education Commission of the States (1992), even though there have been many attempts to develop educational standards, new information on assessing the quality of education provided in schools, districts, and states is lacking. The Federal Coordinating Council of Science, Engineering, and Technology (1993) added that an evaluation process is needed in each state to analyze programs so that questions about the quality of a program can be answered. Further, if responsible change efforts are to be made to establish quality in a technology curriculum, they must include a structure for an objective and critical assessment of each program in order to establish benchmarks for the process (Dyrenfurth, Custer, Loepp, Barnes, Iley, & Boyt, 1993) . Many states in addition to North Carolina are working towards setting criteria for assessing quality within technology programs. If a state is to grow ____________________________
doi:10.21061/jte.v11i1.a.2 fatcat:j3wjimclsratnkbd7nzuzyzcsi