Modern Technological Equipments

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The Effects of Technology Education, Science, and
Mathematics Integration Upon Eighth Grader's
Technological Problem-Solving Ability
by
Vincent William Childress

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
in
Vocational and Technical Education
Approved:
(Signatures on original)
______________________________
Dr. James E. LaPorte, Chair
__________________________
Dr. William E. Dugger, Jr.

__________________________
Dr. Mark E. Sanders

__________________________
Dr. Richard G. Krutchkoff

__________________________
Dr. Osama K. Eyada

July, 1994
Blacksburg, Virginia
i

The Effects of Technology Education, Science, and
Mathematics Integration Upon Eighth Graders'
Technological Problem-Solving Ability
by
Vincent William Childress
James E. LaPorte, Committee Chair
Technology Education
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of technology
education, science, and mathematics (TSM) curriculum
integration on the technological problem-solving ability
of eighth grade technology education students. The
researcher used a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent
control group design to compare the performance of
students receiving correlated TSM integration to those
not receiving integration in an adapted Technology,
Science, Mathematics Integration Project Activity
(LaPorte & Sanders, 1993).
The students were to design, construct, and
evaluate wind collectors to generate electricity. The
collectors were mounted on a generator for the pretest
and posttest measurements. The measure for treatment
ii

effect was the output wattage of the generator for each
student's wind collector.
The samples were drawn from middle schools that had
two technology education teachers in the same school,
each teaching eighth graders. The pilot study sample (N
= 51) was selected from a middle school in rural southcentral Virginia. The study sample (N = 33) was selected from a middle school in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia.
Treatment group technology education teachers
employed technological problem solving, and they
correlated instruction of key concepts with science and
mathematics teachers using the adapted TSM Integration
Activity. The control group technology education
teachers did not correlate instruction with science and
mathematics teachers.
There was no significant difference between the
treatment and control groups for technological problem
solving. Evidence suggested that students were applying
science and mathematics concepts. The researcher
concluded that TSM curriculum integration may promote
the application of science and mathematics concepts to
technological problem solving and does not hinder the
technological problem-solving ability of eighth
iii

technology education students.

iv

To Susan, My Best Friend,

This volume of research is dedicated to my loving wife,
Susan, without whose support I could not have
accomplished what I have. All things of the Earthly
realm pale in comparison to my love for her; her beauty,
intelligence, sensitivity, compassion, dedication and
motivation. In partnership with her, our life together
and the holy vows of our union are the most sacred and
important purposes of life for me on Earth.

v

The Teacher as Investigator
"It seems to me that the contributions that might come
from class-room teachers are a comparatively neglected
field; or, to change the metaphor, an almost unworked
mine...It is to be hoped that the movement will not
cease until all active class-room teachers, of whatever
grade, are also drawn in...For these teachers are the
ones in direct contact with pupils and hence the ones
through whom the results of scientific findings finally
reach students. They are the channels through which the
consequences...
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