Who should design the curriculum that technology educators teach? Should curriculum be developed by governments and ministries of education? Should curriculum design be privatized and limited to commercial vendors? Should teachers design their own curriculum? Who should design the instructional materials? Should all materials be professionally designed by a vendor? As we noted in the previous chapter, technology teachers have had a century of freedom in designing and customizing their curriculum and instruction to suit themselves, their community, or the students. This had its advantages in diversity. The disadvantages, as we noted, related to the inconsistencies from school to school, even in the same district. When the teacher departed from a school, he or she typically departed with the curriculum and instructional materials. New teachers often began their first school year with little more than what they carried with them from their teacher preparation programs and student teaching experiences. One major problem was that when it came time for governments to identify priorities in the schools, technology studies was overlooked because of its incoherent curriculum. As indicated in Chapter VIII, the international trend is quickly shifting toward standards and unified curriculum in design and technology—the trend is toward a consistent scope and sequence of content for the study of technology. Common curriculum and goals along with content and performance standards are the trends. From a perspective of professional vitality and political finesse, these trends are healthy. These trends offer the potential for long-term sustainability of technology studies in the schools. Nevertheless, given that all curricula are fallible and have shortcomings, teachers will always have a need for dispositions toward, or skills and knowledge in, curriculum and instructional design.
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