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A Technology Education Inventory Among Northern California High School Principals And Recent Graduates

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Problem. The primary intent of this investigation was to ascertain the extent to which technological subject matter has been incorporated into the courses offered in Northern California high schools. Personal opinions as well as factual information regarding this issue were elicited from representative samples of high school administrators and recent high school graduates. Procedure. Random samples of high school principals and community college/university students enrolled in English 1A classes were assembled. A Technology Education Inventory was developed for each group surveyed. Survey questionnaire packets were disseminated to a total of 162 high school administrators throughout sixteen Northern California counties. From these, 118 usable instruments were returned yielding a 72.8 percent response rate. Student respondents were selected from four community colleges and from five English 1A classes at San Jose State University (n=190). Several null hypotheses were tested via appropriate statistical procedures including Pearson correlations, one-way analyses of variance and t-tests. Two-tailed tests of significance with an alpha level of .05 were used to analyze these hypotheses. Findings. An analysis of the survey results revealed an association between the perceived importance of technological literacy and the reported amount of technology education available for the administrative sample. The level of technological advancement in a school's immediate vicinity was not shown to be related to the reported amount of technology-based subject matter as perceived by both the students and the administrators. Community college and university students appeared to be in agreement with regard to the importance of technological curricula, but they did not concur with administrators about the extent to which courses of this description were available to them during their high school education. A majority of the high school principals seemed to be supportive of the implementation of technology education programs regardless of their personal levels of technological literacy. Recommendations. Continuing research among national samples with regard to public school "technology-emphasis" programs and student/administrative technological literacy is recommended. Further research in this area should not be totally reliant upon survey data but should include empirical reviews of high school curricular offerings. The Technology Education Inventory copyrighted for use in this research project needs further modification before it is used in future studies.

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