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Record identifier : 569546
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Tolan, Linda A
Title and statement of responsibility : Career concerns, pathing, and professional development of high-school technology educators [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Andrews University, 2008
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , Andrews University
Summary or Abstract : Problem . Society is demanding more employees for technology positions. However, the pipeline of technology educators needed to educate students, and encourage and develop student interest in post-high-school technology study and employment is inadequate and decreasing. The purpose of this study was to bring the voice, career pathing decisions, and professional development experiences of technology teachers into discussions about increasing the pipeline of technology educators. Method . This two-phase, exploratory, sequential mixed-methods study examined the career experiences of technology educators participating in a unique, nationwide professional development program--Project Lead the Way (PLTW). The Qualitative Phase I research questions asked teachers to describe their decisions to choose and work in technology education, their career experiences in technology departments, and their PLTW training experience. The Quantitative Phase II survey--the main focus for the analysis--built on the insights and issues of Phase I. Phase II research questions asked PLTW technology educators to describe their career path, choices, and decisions; consider their career concerns and daily career issues; and explored their PLTW professional development experience. The independent variables of gender and technology teaching entry point were used. Results . In this study 65 entered the technology teaching profession as career-changers either from industry (48 ) or from other teaching disciplines (17 ). Findings about gender balance in the profession, attractors into the technology teaching field, and paths taken to enter into the technology career vary when compared to teachers in other disciplines and results from national surveys. Those who entered the technology teaching field at a traditional college graduation age put more importance on follow-up PLTW training, working with master PLTW teachers, coaching and mentoring, and being seen as a leader in their field. The second career technology teachers (48 of the sample) who come from careers in industry and technology-related fields find collaborative and individual research to be a useful activity and this may provide opportunities for mentoring and coaching other teachers. To attract working professionals, convenient and flexible teacher education programs are needed to allow them to enter the profession. Career-shifters--those who taught in another discipline before technology teaching--were less concerned about the chance to do different things or finding new problems to work on after PLTW. This may increase their job satisfaction and retention. Women technology teachers experience bias and stereotyping, and it will require that home departments address this to retain females and to increase the number in the field. PLTW appears to have many positive impacts including decreases in career concerns, increased feelings about status and prestige of technology education, and feeling happier in their job since PLTW. After PLTW, women teachers felt that the job itself gave them the feeling that they were doing a good job. PLTW can play an important role in increasing the pipeline and improving teachers' attitudes and feelings about their career. Conclusions . The significant results of this study show that technology educators' career experiences present some unique issues and challenges when considered by gender and entry point into technology teaching. Increasing the pipeline and attracting a population into technology education that is different from traditional 18-year-olds requires new and differentiated approaches in marketing, changes in teacher education program delivery, and the creation of new linkages between industry and education. The environment of the home departments and schools plays a role how teachers feel about their career. Last, the off-site, intensive PLTW professional development experience has an impact beyond its core goal of increasing the number of students entering technology employment. The program has unintended positive impact on teachers' career concerns, feelings about teaching and prestige in their field, and may be a vehicle to re-energize and retain teachers..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Teacher education
: Secondary education
: Vocational education
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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