This may be old news to some readers, but I’ve been meaning to blog about plans under way by the producers of the “nation’s report card” to introduce a brand-new national exam in “technology and engineering literacy.” The new exam is to first be administered in 2014.
As you may know, this comes at a time when those subjects have been drawing increased attention, and are part of the acronym some people love (or at least embrace/accept) and other people love to hate: STEM, as in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
When I was reporting on the latest NAEP results in science, I heard repeatedly from folks about this new exam, though it’s been in the works for quite some time. You can get access to a copy of the framework here.
“I think it’s going to be incredibly important and exciting,” he said, noting that it will emphasize a “hands-on” approach and be entirely “computer-based.”
“I think we have overemphasized science at the expense of engineering and technology,” he added.
Students will be assessed in three major areas of technology and engineering literacy, according to a press release issued last year from the National Center for Education Statistics:
• Technology and Society involves the effects that technology has on society and on the natural world and the ethical questions that arise from those effects;
• Design and Systems covers the nature of technology, the engineering design process by which technologies are developed, and basic principles of dealing with everyday technologies, including maintenance and troubleshooting; and
• Information and Communication Technology includes computers and software learning tools, networking systems and protocols, hand-held digital devices, and other technologies for accessing, creating, and communicating information and for facilitating creative expression.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.