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Journal Article
Applied Technology Proficiency of High School Students in Applied and Traditional Courses

Applied Technology Proficiency of High School Students in Applied and Traditional Courses

JournalJournal of Vocational Education Research
PublisherAssociation for Career and Technical Education Research
ISSN0739-3369 (Print)
IssueVolume 28, Number 1 / 2003
Online DateThursday, October 22, 2009

Dennis W. Field1

1 Iowa State University


This investigation compares applied technology skill levels of high school students enrolled in various applied and comparable traditional courses, particularly Principles of Technology and physics courses respectively. Outcomes from ACT's Applied Technology Work Keys® assessment test were used as a measure of applied technology skill levels. Data were collected on 529 students from intact classes at six Iowa high schools. Multilevel models were used to analyze student, class, and school level data. Group means for grade point averages and Iowa Test of Educational Development scores were higher for students enrolled in physics than for students enrolled in Principles of Technology. Principles of Technology courses appear to be reaching students who may not otherwise have enrolled in traditional physics, and reaching them at an earlier age. Applied Technology test scores were essentially equivalent for students in applied classes as compared to students in corresponding traditional classes when the model includes control variables for gender, GPA, ITED score, and prior coursework in science and mathematics.

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