Why Teach Technology Education?
In addition to a strong technical education, students in technology education have extensive professional education and field-based opportunities. Professional education courses are designed to prepare the technology education student to:
- Design appropriate learning experiences for all students
- Establish and maintain an appropriate learning environment (classroom and laboratory)
- Manage students and the teaching environment
- Model the latest practices and knowledge in technology education
- Design lessons and curricula that are based on the latest knowledge in the field and the expectations of the local community, the state, and the nation
- Contribute to the well-being and growth of their students and themselves.
Additionally, technology education students participate in a number of clinical experiences that allow them to develop experiences with public school students, teachers, and administrators throughout the program. Clinical and internship experiences are designed to begin early in the degree program and culminate during the last semester with a 12-week supervised internship experience in a public school setting. This combination of technical expertise and preparation for teaching prepares students well for the future.
Why Teach Technology Education?
People decide to teach technology education for many reasons. Some of these are outlined below.
"I can think of no other school subject that could be this much fun. I have been teaching for 12 years and look forward to working with the students every day."
"I love to design lab activities that cause the students to scratch their heads. When the students succeed by building a device that solves the problem, it makes their day and mine."
"Technology education brings out students' creativity, desire to work on teams, and their individual talents, in a way that other school subjects do. I really like the fact that I can reach students who haven't been reached in other classes."
"I like to leave work at the end of the day and know that I have made a difference in the life of a student that day. How many jobs allow you to have that kind of influence?"
"Technology education gets kids out of their seats and into situations that mirror what they'll find in the real world."
Are There Jobs?
We live in a world dominated by technology! In fact, global use of technology is growing at an astronomical rate. Research suggests that Americans use 47 percent more technology today than they did just one generation ago. Someone has to prepare individuals to use technology and to use it wisely. Given this spiraling growth of technology, graduates from the technology education program are particularly attractive to prospective employers. As society begins to realize that all citizens need to understand and be able to utilize technology in their lives, the need for qualified technology teachers is great.
The goal of technology education in the secondary and post secondary schools is to provide for a technologically literate society, a society where individuals have the skills that allow them to make appropriate technological decisions. Students are specifically prepared to teach in grades 6 through 12, community colleges, and in a post secondary work setting. Many students also find that they are well prepared for industrial positions.
Currently, there are severe shortages of prepared technology education teachers throughout the United States and internationally. Since 2004, many states have implemented mandatory high school level engineering programs — which have led to severe shortages of qualified technology teachers. Graduates work in the following career areas:
- Junior high/middle school technology teacher
- High school technology teacher
- Trade or technical school instructor
- Vocational/career technical center instructor
- Private technical school/institute instructor
- Community college technical instructor
- School district technology coordinator
- Numerous industrial (non-teaching) positions
As technology becomes more prevalent in society, the demand for people who can teach others how it can be appropriately utilized will continue to increase. Currently, Arkansas and the United States are experiencing a severe shortage in qualified entry-level technology education teachers.
For information about teacher salaries, connect to the National Education Association Teacher Salary Web site.