Making the Case for Technological Literacy

Members of the Committee on Technological Literacy

The NAE in collaboration with the NRC's Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education (CSMEE), created the Committee on Technological Literacy to raise awareness among policymakers, the education community, and the public at large about the importance of technological literacy and to propose steps to increase it. The committee was chaired by NAE member Tom Young.

A THOMAS YOUNG, chair, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and retired executive vice president of Lockheed Martin. Mr. Young was previously president and chief operating officer of Martin Marietta Corporation. Prior to joining industry, Mr. Young worked for 21 years at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he directed the Goddard Space Flight Center, was deputy director of the Ames Research Center, directed the Planetary Program in the Office of Space Science at NASA headquarters, and was mission director for the Project Viking Mars landing program. He has been a member of several National Research Council committees, including the Office of Science and Engineering Personnel Advisory Committee and the Committee on Supply Chain Integration: New Roles and Challenges for Small and Medium-Sized Companies.

PAUL ALLAN has been working on teacher professional development at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, for the past two years. Before that, he taught physics, mathematics, and technology courses at Colony High School in Palmer, Alaska, for nine years. A classroom teacher for 20 years, Mr. Allan received his M.S. in science education from Columbia University Teachers College and his B.A. in biology. Mr. Allan has participated in the Dartmouth Project for Teaching Engineering Problem Solving and has served as president of the Alaska Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Mr. Allan’s recent awards include the 1996 Teacher of the Year at Colony High School, 1994 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, and 1999 Distinguished Physics Teacher from Alaska by the American Physical Society.

WILLIAM ANDERS, retired chairman of General Dynamics, was a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and engineer until being selected as a NASA astronaut. In 1968, he flew with Frank Borman and James Lovell aboard the Apollo 8 lunar mission, the first spacecraft to leave the Earth and orbit the moon. From 1969 to 1973 he was the executive secretary of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, and from 1973 to 1975 he was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. From 1976 to 1977, he was U.S. Ambassador to Norway. Mr. Anders is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a trustee of the Battelle Memorial Institute, and a member of the board of the Center for Occupational Research and Development, an organization that develops comprehensive tech-prep programs designed to enable students to make a successful transition from school to work.

TAFT H. BROOME, JR. is professor of civil engineering at Howard University. During his 29-year career at Howard, Dr. Broome has been department chair and chair of the University Senate. In 1985, he received his M.S. in science, technology, and society from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Broome has served in leadership positions of major national organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Engineering Education, and the National Association for Science, Technology, and Society. Among his many publications is "Race and the Information Super Highway: Implications for a Participatory Democracy," a chapter in The Information Society and the Black Community (Greenwood, forthcoming). He is a member of the board of directors of Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network and of the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on Engineering Education.

JONATHAN R. COLE is provost and dean of faculties, and John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University, at Columbia University. Dr. Cole has spent much of his academic career studying the social aspects of science and technology and developing the sociology of science. He has published widely on many subjects, including the system of social stratification in science; the reward system of science; the place of women in the scientific community; the growth of knowledge; the measurement of the quality of scientific work; the communications system in science; the social construction of medical facts; and the peer review system in science, particularly at the National Science Foundation. His recent publications have focused on the structure of the research university and the new digital media and intellectual property. Dr. Cole has had a long-standing interest in questions of scientific and technological literacy. He has been a Guggenheim fellow, fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavior Sciences, and been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among other honors. He has served on many advisory boards and committees of the National Academies and the National Science Foundation.

RODNEY L. CUSTER, chair of the Department of Industrial Technology at Illinois State University, is a national leader in technology education and chair of the Secondary Standards Development Team for the International Technology Education Association’s initiative to develop K?12 standards in technology education. Dr. Custer is a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Teacher Preparation in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education: Integrating Research Recommendations and the Realities of Practice, and the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on Engineering Education.

GO?RY DELAC?TE is a renowned scientist, science educator, and public servant who joined the Exploratorium as executive director in February 1991. He is currently on leave from the University of Paris, where he is professor of physics. Dr. Delac?te has a Ph.D. in solid state physics from the ?cole Normale Sup?rieure and has been involved in science and science education since the outset of his career. From 1982 to 1991, Dr. Delac?te was the director of the Science and Technology Information Division of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Biblioth?que de France, the new National Library of France (1989 to 1993). Dr. Delac?te served on the National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment of the National Research Council, which issued K?12 science education standards in September 1995. As executive secretary of the Exploratorium, Dr. Delac?te has implemented a new approach combining exhibits, networking, and teacher education to create a public laboratory on learning with outreach to a large audience of scientists, artists, educators, children, and families. Under his leadership, many Exploratorium partnerships have been established in the United States and abroad.

DENICE DENTON is professor of electrical engineering and dean of engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. Prior to her current position, she was professor of electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to serving on several visiting committees for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering, she has been involved in many activities in the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). Most recently, she served on the EHR Advisory Committee, which was responsible for a major review of undergraduate education. She also chaired the National Research Council Board on Engineering Education.

PAUL DE VORE is president of PWD Associates, a consulting company which he founded. Prior to that, Dr. De Vore was professor and chair, Department of Technology Education, West Virginia University; research associate (history of technology), Smithsonian Institution; and director, Division of Education and Training, National Technology Transfer Center. Among his publications are a monograph, Technology and the New Liberal Arts (University of Northern Iowa, 1976), which explores the relation between the study of technology as a discipline and the study of technology as part of a liberal education; several books, including Technology: An Intellectual Discipline (American Industrial Arts Association, 1964) and Structure and Content: Foundations for Curriculum Development (American Industrial Arts Association, 1968; reprinted 1973), which contributed to the establishment of technology education as a national movement; and Technology: An Introduction (Davis Publications, 1980), a leading college textbook and reference. He is also the editor of Introduction to Transportation (Davis Publications ,1983) and coauthor of Creativity in the Technologies (Davis Publications, 1989).

KAREN FALKENBERG is currently a full-time doctoral candidate at Emory University; her dissertation will focus on creativity, innovation, and education. Most recently, she was the program manager for the Elementary Science Education Partners Program (ESEP), a five-year NSF-funded science education reform project based in Atlanta, Georgia. ESEP was a collaborative effort between eight institutions of higher education in the metropolitan Atlanta area and the urban Atlanta Public School District. ESEP provided professional development, classroom materials, and undergraduate science partners to more than 1,600 elementary teachers, and the program influenced the science instruction for more than 35,000 elementary students. Ms. Falkenberg is an international education consultant, a member of the Southeastern Regional Vision for Education Leadership Academy for Science and Mathematics, and a mentor for the WestEd National Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership. She has served on the NSF’s teacher enhancement panel, has been a faculty member for the National Science Resources Center’s Leadership Academy for Science Education Reform, and was a featured classroom teacher in case studies of prominent U.S. innovations in science, math, and technology education. Ms. Falkenberg worked as a research engineer and taught high school before entering the field of science education reform.

SHELAGH A. GALLAGHER is assistant professor of education at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where she also directs a U.S. Department of Education project, P-BLISS (Problem-Based Learning in the Social Sciences). She has spent many years conducting training and research on problem-based learning and studying the characteristics of gifted adolescents and gender differences in the development and expression of talent. Dr. Gallagher has served as director of measurement for the Longitudinal Study of American Youth at the Chicago Academy of Science and director of research and assessment at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. At the College of William and Mary, she was project manager for the Javits Science Curriculum Project, which included a review of science curricula and the production of six problem-based science units.

JOYCE GARDELLA, principal of Gardella & Associates, a strategic marketing consulting firm, has expertise in marketing science and technology concepts and programs. Prior to launching her own business, Ms. Gardella was vice president for marketing at the Museum of Science in Boston and before that marketing director at the Museum of Science & Industry and Brookfield Zoo, both in Chicago.

DAVID T. HARRISON, vice president of educational programs at Seminole Community College in Sanford, Florida, is responsible for student learning in the liberal arts, sciences, business and information technology, health professions, criminal justice and public service, and other professional and technological fields. He also oversees an alternative high school, adult basic education programs, and language programs for international students. Dr. Harrison has worked extensively on lifelong learning opportunities, and on economic, workforce, and community development issues.

PAUL HOFFMAN is working on a book on the history of flying machines before the Wright Brothers. A former president of Encyclopedia Britannica and editor in chief of Discover magazine, he has a long history of involvement in communicating science and technology to the public. Mr. Hoffman has been a special science correspondent for "Good Morning America" and has appeared on CNN, "ABC News," and "The Charlie Rose Show." He has written for many national magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, and Business Week, and was the first winner of the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. He has written 10 books, including the international bestseller, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth (Hyperion, 1998).

JONDEL (J.D.) HOYE is president of Keep the Change, a workforce development consulting firm. Ms. Hoye is the immediate past director of the National School-to-Work Office, a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education. Prior to her work in the federal government, Ms. Hoye was associate superintendent of the Oregon Department of Education and Office of Community College Services. In that position, she was responsible for professional, vocational, and technical education statewide.

THOMAS P. HUGHES is Mellon Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, and a distinguished visiting professor at MIT, a visiting professor at Stanford University, and a visiting professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Dr. Hughes, who did his graduate work in European history at the University of Virginia, has published books on American and European history that pay especial attention to the history of modern technology, science, and culture. His publications include two books about the nature of technological and social change: Networks of Power: Electrification of Western Society, 1880-1930 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983) and Elmer Sperry: Inventor and Engineer (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971). Both books won Dexter Prizes for outstanding books in the history of technology. American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970 (Penguin USA, 1990) was one of the three finalists for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in history. His most recent book is Rescuing Prometheus (Pantheon Books, 1998), which focuses on managing the creation of large technological systems. Dr. Hughes has been chairman of the Department of the History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania; the NASA History Advisory Committee; and the U.S. National Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science. He is a history consultant for ABC television, WGBH television, and the Sloan Foundation and has been a member of the Advisory Council to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He chaired the National Research Council Committee on Innovations in Computing and Communications: Lessons from History.

MAE JEMISON was the first woman of color to travel into space when she flew on the space shuttle Endeavor in 1992. Since resigning from NASA, Jemison has founded The Jemison Group, a technology design and consulting company in Houston that focuses on the beneficial integration of science and technology into everyday life. Jemison is also a professor of environmental studies and director of the Jemison Institute for Advancing Technology in Developing Countries at Dartmouth College. The institute promotes sustainable development -- improving the quality of life without compromising the opportunities for future generations to grow and prosper. Jemison speaks nationally on the importance of education, adult responsibility, and universal science literacy. She established The Earth We Share™, an international science camp for 12 to 16 year olds that builds critical thinking and problem-solving skills through an experiential curriculum. She also serves as Bayer Corporation’s National Science Literacy Advocate. Jemison is an engineer and physician, and the author of a young adult autobiography, Finding Where the Wind Goes: Moments From My Life (Scholastic, 2001).

F. JAMES RUTHERFORD is education advisor to the executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and has extensive experience in planning and overseeing efforts to reform the U.S. K?12 education system. At AAAS, he has been responsible for several national initiatives, including Science Resources for Schools, Challenge of the Unknown, the National Forum for School Science, and Science Seminars for Teachers, and for several publications, including Science Education News, the annual Science Education Directory, the annual This Year in School Science, and Science Education in Global Perspective. As initiator and director of Project 2061, he headed the nation’s most prominent, long-term, comprehensive effort to promote nationwide reform in science, mathematics, and technology education. Prior to joining AAAS, Dr. Rutherford served in two federal agencies. In 1977, he was appointed by President Carter to be assistant director of the National Science Foundation responsible for all science, mathematics, and engineering education programs, preschool through postdoctoral, and for federal programs to improve the public understanding of science. When the new U.S. Department of Education was launched, President Carter appointed him assistant secretary for research and improvement, a position that included responsibility for the National Institute of Education, the National Center for Educational Statistics, the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, and federal programs supporting libraries and the development of educational technologies. Earlier, Rutherford was professor of science education at Harvard University and at New York University, and earlier still, a high school science teacher in California.

KATHRYN C. THORNTON is professor of technology, culture, and communication and director of the Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The center is an interdisciplinary office coordinating the activities of the university’s engineering school, Curry School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, and Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service. Previously, for 12 years Dr. Thornton served as an astronaut based at the Johnson Space Center, where her duties included participating in space missions and heading the Education Working Group. She is a member of the National Research Council Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.

ROBERT TINKER is founder, president, and chairman of the Concord Consortium in Concord, Massachusetts. For more than 20 years, he has conducted pioneering work in constructivist approaches to education, particularly novel uses of educational technology in science and mathematics. Prior to founding the Concord Consortium, Dr. Tinker was director of TERC (formerly the Technical Education Research Center), where he developed the idea of equipping computers with probes for real-time measurements and of using the Internet for collaborative student data sharing and investigations. Dr. Tinker has taught college physics for more than 10 years.

Project Staff
GREG PEARSON is a program officer with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), where he directs the academy’s efforts related to technological literacy. In this capacity, Mr. Pearson most recently served as the responsible staff officer for the Committee on Technological Literacy, a joint project of the NAE and the National Research Council. He also oversaw a review of national K?12 content standards for the study of technology developed by the International Technology Education Association. He has worked collaboratively with colleagues within and outside the National Academies on a variety of projects involving K?12 science, mathematics, technology, and engineering education and the public understanding of engineering and science. Pearson has a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College and an M.A. in journalism from The American University.

ROBERT POOL is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida, who specializes in science and technology. He has written for a number of magazines, including Science, Nature, Discover, New Scientist, and Technology Review and is the author of three books, including Beyond Engineering: How Society Shapes Technology (Oxford University Press, 1997). He was also a writing consultant for the International Technology Education Association Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA, 2000).