In 1994, ITEA initiated the Technology for All Americans Project, funded by NSF and NASA, to promote the study of technology and attainment of technological literacy for all citizens. The project, through release of Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology (ITEA, 1996), defined what a technologically literate person should know and be able to do. The document argues that technological literacy will enable all Americans to become informed decision makers and participate fully in a technological society. It also defines the processes, knowledge, and contexts that constitute the study of technology, and describes how technology should be integrated into the K-12 curriculum.
The project’s second phase led to release of Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (ITEA, 2000). That document defines technological literacy, distinguishing what all students should know and understand about technology from what they should be able to do (e.g., apply a design process to solve a technological problem). The standards, organized within four grade-level ranges, address the nature of technology; technology and society; design; abilities for a technological world; and the designed world (see Box 2–3).
ITEA received third-phase funding from NSF and NASA to develop assessment, program, and professional development standards to complement and guide implementation of the technology content standards.3
The standards for mathematics, science, and technology share a number of key characteristics, starting with affirmation of the